Kiwis targeted by premium SMS 'Uber Code' text message scam

Kiwis have reported receiving suspicious text messages purporting to be from Uber, but more likely to be a scam doing the rounds internationally.

The messages come from a four-digit number, and give a random four-digit "Uber code".

They then follow by saying "If this wasn't you Reply STOP to 3362 to unsubscribe.

One such example saw an Auckland resident receiving a text each day, hounding them to send the unsubscribe text, and another Auckland resident also confirmed they had received the same texts.

In fact, the texts are likely to be from a scammer operating what is known as a premium SMS scheme.

In such scams, a person is tricked into sending a specific phrase to a specific number, and their account is then charged a certain amount, which the scammer pockets.

The system is used for honest purposes in cases like charity donation drives.

The same scam has been reported in numerous other countries as recently as August.

A police spokesperson said "if it doesn't seem right, be cautious, double-check details and end all communication immediately if it doesn't add up.

"If you have been targeted by a scam, report it immediately by contacting Police or visiting Consumer Protection's Scamwatch website."

Netsafe's Director of Education and Engagement Sean Lyons said they have not yet received any reports of this specific scam, but warned people that "if you've received an SMS message or verification that you haven't requested, don't reply.

"If the message mentions a company name, and if you have an account with them, go to their website rather than replying to the SMS," he said.

"You can login to your account and check if there are any pending security notices.

"You can also consider re-securing your account by changing the password.

"If you've replied to a message from a scammer and had charges added to your phone bill, contact your phone company straight away.

"It's important to report any bogus charges to them and they will be able to provide you with some advice.

"New Zealanders can send unsolicited spam messages to the Department of Internal Affairs ... you can forward these types of messages to them by sending it to 7726 - there is no charge for doing this."

Kiwis are being targeted by a likely "reverse charge" scam pretending to be Uber.
Kiwis are being targeted by a likely "reverse charge" scam pretending to be Uber. Source: Supplied/1 NEWS graphic