Scam alert: WhatsApp
A convincing WhatsApp message where criminals pose as a friend or family member is the latest scam we urge you be extremely wary of. The con has been reported to Action Fraud over 20 times and has cost victims almost £50,000 in several months.
What to watch out for
Criminals will typically claim to be a family member and will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad”. They will say that they are texting from a new mobile number as their phone was lost or damaged and will go on to ask for money to purchase a new phone, or claim that they need money urgently to pay a bill.
The fraudsters will supply their bank details for payment, with some coming back with further demands for money.
How to avoid falling for these scams
- If you are contacted out of the blue from a number you don’t recognise 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.
- If you receive a similar message that’s asking you for money, speak with the person over the phone to verify they are who they say they are.
- It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
What action should you take?
- You can report suspicious texts you have received but not acted upon, by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.
- You can report suspicious emails you have received but not acted upon, by forwarding the original message to email@example.com.
- If you have provided personal or financial details as a result of a suspicious message, or lost money because of a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
If you think you may have handed over your bank details to scammers, please contact us immediately.