This WhatsApp scam is pure evil! Families scammed out of money; Be warned, don't do this | Tech News

This WhatsApp scam is pure evil! Families scammed out of money; Be warned, don't do this

Beware of this WhatsApp scam! Online crooks will try to steal money from you by pretending to be your friend who is in an emergency. Know how it works.

| Updated on: Jul 18 2022, 16:47 IST
This new vicious WhatsApp scam steals money from families. (Pixabay)
This new vicious WhatsApp scam steals money from families. (Pixabay)

WhatsApp is such a simple and handy tool for your daily conversations with friends and family. However, anyone can reach you in case they have your contact information. And that's what makes it prone to being misused to carry out cybercrimes through various fiendish tricks. Fraudsters find it easy to scam people on such platforms with their evil tricks. This is what has happened to several WhatsApp users in the last few months. Things have deteriorated so much that a UK government institute, Suffolk Trading Standards, has warned about a WhatsApp scam where fraudsters target users in a really evil way through fake messages pretending to be one of their family members who have been caught in an emergency.

Now, this vicious WhatsApp scam is running rampant in the United Kingdom and is being copied in other nations too! Here, online crooks try to con WhatsApp users masquerading as one of their family members or friends to ask for money in some emergency situation. This time, sports journalist Jacqui Oatley shared her incident about how her mother almost fell victim to the scam. She took to Twitter to reveal how her mother had received bogus texts from an unknown number on WhatsApp pretending to be Oatley that ended up turning into a scam.

"I'm keen to warn you about a scam which my lovely, kind mum so nearly fell for. It was incredibly believable. Someone pretends to be you but on a different number, contacts someone close to you and asks them to quickly pay a bill for you before you pay them back," Oatley tweeted.

She shared the screenshots of the conversation of her mom with the con-artist, where the fraudster, pretending to be Oatley, reasons why the message was from a different phone than her old number. Later, the fraudster went on to ask for around £2,000 to pay bills as the new number is unable to link to the bank for online payment.

Thankfully, Oatley's mother realised it was a scam because of online fraudster's spelling and grammar mistakes. "Luckily, their spelling and grammar were terrible so that alerted my mum!" Oastley further tweeted.

However, although Oatley's mum saved the situation, there were others who ended up losing big amounts. For instance, in another tweet, a user named Matt said, "My mum fell for exactly the same thing. Literally the same opening message and sent them £2900 :("

How to detect this WhatsApp scam

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 always confirm or try to even reach them directly via call, such as Oatley's mother did. - Fraudsters will try to get your personal or financial details. If it is a scam, then the con-artist will always try to avoid calling you.

They will create such a situation that will seem like an emergency, and will put you under pressure to respond quickly, or may ask you to keep their conversation a secret. So, beware of such cases and never share money with any unknown account.

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First Published Date: 18 Jul, 16:47 IST