POLICE in Spain have warned of a hoax message being sent around social networks and via text message claiming to be seeking candidates to audition for Big Brother 18 and The Voice.
The first of these is titled: “We're looking for extraordinary people,” and gives three requisites for how to apply – being aged over 18, being 'extraordinary' and completing an online form by clicking on a web link, ghelcasting.com, with the 'gh' being for Gran Hermano, as Big Brother is known in Spain.
For the audition for La Voz (The Voice in Spain), recipients are once again told they need to be over 18, to 'have a talent for music', and to click on a link given as castinglavoz.com.
Another type of text message doing the rounds reads: “Congratulations! You've been selected for Big Brother. Your code is GH322 and you're going to be famous! Call us on 80 64 48 2 18. You're just one step away from realising your dream.”
National Police have issued a warning via Twitter.
“You're not going to get called to the diary room. No singing coach is going to turn up. These auditions are fake and are only trying to steal your data – don't fall for it,” says one tweet from the force, and another reads: “Don't start picturing yourself in the diary room! This is not a message from @ghoficial [the official Twitter site for Big Brother]. And WARNING, don't call premium-rate 806 telephone lines; they're a fraud.”
This is not the first 'fake' audition scam picked up in Spain – last year, when Game of Thrones was genuinely searching for extras for scenes shot in Andalucía, opportunists set up a fraudulent 'audition' website urging anyone who wanted 'a chance at becoming famous' to ring a premium-rate telephone number.
After a long time on hold, a recorded message simply gave the real telephone number for the producer, HBO, whilst raking in huge amounts of cash from callers for the scammers simply by their phoning the one on the fake website.
Police say they do not yet know whether the Big Brother and The Voice audition hoaxes are aimed at getting into users' mobile phones via the 'back door' to steal their sensitive information, or whether they are simply an attempt to get trusting members of the public to call premium-rate telephone numbers.
Either way, National Police say, these messages should be ignored since no TV programme would advertise auditions by sending bulk text messages.
Photographs by the National Police on Twitter