WhatsApp WARNS of not responding to family or friend in need
WhatsApp is warning its users to watch out for the friend-in-need scam that is going after innocent people
WhatsApp warns its users of a new scam that could fool innocent people and rob them of their money. The WhatsApp “friend in need” scam has been going around in the UK for a while and in another recent case, has been stealing thousands of pounds from innocent people. This time, the scammers are pretending to be the son or daughter in need of money.
Based on a report from Express UK, it is said that scammers are able to steal almost £50,000 from victims in the matter of a few months. These messages are now start with the phrases “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad”, followed by a description of a desperate situation wherein they pretend as the son or daughter seeking immediate monetary help.
WhatsApp friend in need scam now poses as sons and daughters
The scamsters pretend to be desperate sons or daughters asking for money. In most of the situations, they go on to use excuses such as a lost phone before going to pay bills, or even urgent need of money while buying a car. Any unsuspecting parent often falls for the trap and ends up sending the money.
The scamsters always send messages from a different number and justify that by saying that they lost their phone. The desperate event description is followed by a the scamster's bank account details.
The issue is widespread and scamsters are a stealing a lot of money from the victims. In one reported instance, the victim paid almost £2,000 to cybercriminals, who posed as their son seeking money to pay bills after their phone got lost. The victim ended up paying twice before suspicion arose but it was too late by then.
In another related case, the scamsters managed to nick £3,000 as a son in need. This time though, they did now want the money for bills. Instead, they wanted to make the payments for a new car, which the victim did over four transactions to two accounts.
In the report, Detective Inspector Craig Mullish from the City of London Police said, "If you're contacted out of the blue from a number you don't recognize but the person is claiming to be someone you know and are requesting financial assistance – stop and think as it could protect you and your money.
“Only criminals will try to rush or panic you,” he added.
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