Beware of WhatsApp scam! Cybercriminals steal cash via kin trick; know how to stop it

This WhatsApp scam is totally obnoxious! Cybercriminals are stealing money by pretending to be family members. Here is how to identify the scam.
| Updated on Nov 17 2021, 03:31 PM IST
WhatsApp messages from unknown numbers pretending to be your family member can be a scam to steal your money. Avoid sending your bank details.
WhatsApp messages from unknown numbers pretending to be your family member can be a scam to steal your money. Avoid sending your bank details. (HT_PRINT)

Cybercrime is changing its shape day by day via using emails, SMS, and now WhatsApp. The most used messaging app has become the platform for cyberfraud where people are being scammed through various tricks. The latest WhatsApp scam trick is the one where these cybercriminals pretend to be family members. Government institute Suffolk Trading Standards of the UK has warned WhatsApp users that fraudsters are targeting them through fake messages pretending to be one of their family members.

In a recent incident, a woman from Kessingland received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number, claiming to be her daughter. The con-person tried to convince her that her fell into the washroom and that this is her new contact number. The story doesn't end here, the fraudster then asked the WhatsApp user to send her money as she needed to pay a bill and she couldn't access her account. Luckily, the mother didn't fall for the scam and contacted her daughter by other means.

Suffolk County Council revealed some shocking losses to WhatsApp scams and other frauds. The Council said, "..It is estimated that Pounds 5 billion to Pounds 10 billion is lost to scams each year in the UK. Scams may occur through phone calls, letters, emails, the internet or at your door."

How to know if it's a WhatsApp scam or not?

- Scammers will try to contact you out of the blue. They may pretend to be your family member, relative or friend but never fall for that. Do confirm.

- Fradusters will try to get your personal or financial details.

- They will create such a situation that will seem like an urgency, and will put you under pressure to respond quickly.

- They will ask you to keep their conversation as a secret.

How to avoid being the victim of a scam?

- You should verify their identity. Try to ask for information which is only known between you and your family. Try to contact your known person who can give information about them.

- Look out for grammatical or spelling mistakes. Writing style can be another method to know if the person is really your known person or not.

- Never ever give your bank details, even if they pretend to be the bank officials.

- Never send money to someone you don’t know. In the case of a pretending family member, do check about their real identity first.

- If you get to know about a scam or cyber-fraudster, then report them. You can directly report on WhatsApp also, while going to Settings - Help and then Contact Us. There, explain your problem and report about the scam.

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First Published Date: 17 Nov, 12:02 PM IST
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