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MOBILE phone users in Paphos are being bombarded with text messages claiming they’ve won a Toyota Landcruiser VX worth $140,000.

If this message comes from a company called 'Japan International Motors' it is a spam text message. Our advice is to delete it immediatly. Also, for your own security, don't respond to the message with any personal information of yours!

(Friday, November 14, 2008)

Recipients are asked to call a telephone number in Kenya to confirm delivery arrangements. They are then asked for personal information such as ID numbers, and told they must pay all the relevant taxes and transportation fees.

The message is sent from a company calling themselves 'Japan International Motors' and they request that the lucky winner send them the appropriate fees to enable them to transfer the vehicle.

Antonis Nicolaides, who received a text said, "I knew it was a scam from the moment that I received the message, I couldn't be that lucky," he laughed. "But to be sure I checked on the internet, and there are lots of complaints about these people.

"There are some very gullible people out there, and it concerns me that some of them may believe this nonsense and part with their money, never to see it again. The authorities should do something about it,"' he said.

'Winners' are requested to send varying amounts of cash to specific bank accounts, mainly in Nairobi in Kenya. This scam is making its way around the world and has already hit Yemen, the UAE, South Africa, Libya and Iran. The scammers are stealing people's identities as well as their money.

If you receive a similar message simply delete it from your phone. Authorities also advise that consumers should be cautious of companies asking for banking or personal details by phone, letter, text or email. They recommend that no information should be given out, until the authenticity of a company has been verified.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008