‘HI MUM’ TEXT MESSAGE SCAM RAKES IN $2M AND COUNTING

The NSW Police State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad has warned phone users to remain vigilant following a rise in victims of the scam dubbed “Hi Mum”.

The scam involves the offender sending a text message from an unknown mobile phone number to a person on a messaging application claiming to be their son or daughter. The message then states they’ve lost their phone, telling the victim they’re sending from their new number and to delete the old number.

According to the Cybercrime Squad, offenders may send victims messages along the lines of “Hey Mum it’s me. I got a new phone number, you can delete the old one. I got a new phone. I’m still transferring everything.”

After the victim engages in conversation, the offender then asks to borrow money or have a payment made on their behalf, generally accompanied by a fabricated excuse as to why they need the cash, which is usually due to the fictitious unavailability of online banking on the “new device”. To bolster the message scam’s validity, the fake texts generally include a bogus offer to pay the money back.

The Cybercrime Squad has also found that another example of the scam messages in circulation refers to “avoiding online fraud”, a technique scammers have employed aimed at increasing the text’s credibility.

“The banking app has put a 48-hour security on the app due to fraud. All nice but I have to pay two payments,” one of the scam messages stated.

The offender will usually claim it is a matter of urgency before providing details for the payment.

Victims are predominantly aged 55 years and older, with people in NSW and Victoria accounting for more than 50 per cent of “Hi Mum” scam victims, followed by Western Australia and Queensland.

According to Matthew Craft, Cybercrime Squad Commander and Detective Superintendent, the scam dates back to October 2021, however, there has been a significant increase in reports since May 2022.

“We encourage people to look out for suspicious behaviours demonstrated by these scammers; including their failure to personalise any communication and excuses as to why they can’t speak on the phone.

“If you receive a suspicious message on your mobile, particularly through social media or encrypted messaging, reach out to your relative by an alternative method of communication or call to confirm it is in fact them.

“Many parents are falling victim because they’re simply nice people who are concerned for their child’s welfare,” Detective Superintendent Craft said.

Fraudulently obtained funds are usually quickly moved from bank accounts into cryptocurrency, Cybercrime Squad further explained, which prevents the likelihood of victims getting their money back.

If you have lost money to a scam, contact the bank or a financial institution as soon as possible and report the matter to the police.

Visit the Scamwatch website for more advice on how to avoid scams and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim of a scam.

Anyone with information in relation to cyber crimes and scams is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

PLANNING AHEAD

Planning Ahead is a publication designed to help veterans and their families prepare for bereavement. You have two options you can save the PDF document or you can request a booklet from the DVA or in most cases your local RSL Sub-Branch.

CLICK LINK to open

Planning Ahead – A GUIDE TO PUTTING YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER – PREPARING FOR AND COPING WITH BEREAVEMENT (dva.gov.au)

 

The following is a personal particulars form that we all should complete for our family.

CLICK LINK to open

Personal Particulars Form – Your Private Record (dva.gov.au)

Provisional Access to Medical Treatment extended for two more years

The Australian Government has today committed $33 million to extend access to free medical treatment for veterans.

The free Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program provides access to medical treatment for 20 of the most commonly claimed conditions to veterans who have lodged a claim with DVA.

“We know veterans waiting for claims to be processed need support ­– this is a challenging time and dealing with a medical condition can make it even more stressful,” Minister Keogh said.

“This funding will ensure veterans can continue to access medical treatment for their condition while they wait for their claims to be processed. Ensuring veterans have access to their treatment earlier can make a big difference to their recovery.

“The Government is committed to a better future for veterans and this program will provide them with access to medical treatment when they need it,” Minister Keogh said.

To learn more about the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program, visit the DVA website.

On the Gunline

A short documentary on the guided missile destroyer HMAS Perth (II) filmed during her second deployment to Vietnam between September 1968 and April 1969.

The Story of a Forward Scout: Richard Bligh

A Murri man from the South Burnett area in Queensland, Richard was a 21-year-old ring-barker working in New South Wales when he asked his boss to mail off his papers to join the army. Richard Bligh, a quietly spoken Aboriginal man, and Vietnam veteran shares his poignant story with us here on film. Watch a part of Richard’s story here.

 

Life of a Door Gunner

A conversation with a veteran – Victor Smith of the This was an interview with Victor ‘Vic’ Smith, a Vietnam veteran who served with the RAAF No. 9 Squadron as a Huey door gunner.

Despite being a dangerous job, vets who served as door gunners have been overlooked in many interviews, and we felt it was necessary for all of those who served in Vietnam to have their stories told.

Other airfield defence guards like Vic volunteered to work as door gunners with the RAAFs 9 Squadron, which served in Southeast Asia from 1966 to 1975 (the end of the war) and worked as medevac (dustoff), attack/support, and ‘people sniffer’ (a special program for detecting enemy activity by monitoring air components from the UH-1). The importance of the squadron – such as assisting other forces, working with the SAS (and saving them from dangerous situations), and taking casualties and aircraft losses – is not to be understated. We are taking it upon ourselves to tell these veteran’s stories – they deserve to be heard.

Three Kiwi soldiers recognised for outstanding bravery in Vietnam War

More than fifty years ago, three Kiwi soldiers left home to fight in the Vietnam War. During the battle, and under intense enemy fire, they carried out an act of extraordinary bravery – saving the lives of two Australians who’d been critically injured when a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the Viet Cong slammed into their tank.

Since 1971 their platoon commander has been pushing governments on both sides of the Tasman to award medals to these men.

Finally, this month the outstanding bravery of these three privates was officially recognised. But which Government has stepped up to make the award – Australia or New Zealand?