SCAM is tricking victims into handing over thousands of pounds by posing as their close family members on WhatsApp.
According to UK fraud watchdog Action Fraud, the tactic has cost affected people a total of almost £50,000 in dozens of reported cases this year.
Police are urging WhatsApp users to ignore requests to receive money from people using unknown numbers but claiming to be people you know.
In one The report Published last week, Action Fraud details how criminals use the “friends in need” scam to trick people into parting with their hard earned money.
“Criminals often claim to be a family member and will often start conversations with ‘Hello Mom’ or ‘Hello Dad’,” the group wrote.
“They’ll say they’re texting from a new mobile number because their phone is lost or broken and will keep asking for money to buy a new phone or say they need the money urgently to pay the bill.
“The criminal will provide their bank details for payment, with some coming back asking for further money.
“Criminals have succeeded in their approach because they are exploiting the emotional vulnerability of the public in an attempt to defraud their victims.”
The group provides the national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime and is operated by the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
The scam was reported with Action Fraud 25 times between August and October 2021 and has cost users a total of £48,356.
In one case, a victim claimed to have paid nearly £2,000 to someone they believed to be their son after they received a WhatsApp message.
The suspect claimed that they broke the phone, that’s why they got a new number and they needed a cash loan to pay the bill.
In another case, a victim claimed to have paid £3,000 to someone claiming to be their son in a message sent via WhatsApp.
The son had recently moved to another country and the suspect claimed that they needed money to pay a deposit to buy a new car.
Interim Detective Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, advised WhatsApp users to be extremely vigilant when receiving messages from unknown numbers.
“If you don’t recognize contact from a number you don’t recognize but who is claiming to be someone you know and is asking for financial assistance – stop and think because it can protect you and your money,” he said.
“These messages appear genuine but your money could end up in the pockets of criminals, so you can refuse, refuse or ignore any request.
He added: “Only criminals will try to rush you or scare you off.
“Try and contact the person directly with another contact form to confirm that their request for help is genuine as it could be a scam.”
Earlier this month, a 75-year-old Briton describe his anger after WhatsApp scammers tricked him into sending them hundreds of pounds.
Deceived pensioner has lost £1,500 to cyber crooks posing as his niece on the popular messaging service.
Fortunately, his bank agreed to refund him after being contacted by The Sun.
In other news, Samsung is said to be killing Its favorite Note smartphone after more than a decade.
Apple has announced that it will allow customers fix their own iPhone for the first time starting next year.
The UK is fighting a Translation of hacking attacks targeted at consumers and businesses, according to officials.
And, NASA has slam Russia after a rocket it fired at one of its own satellites forced the space station to perform an emergency diversion.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/16892006/police-warn-whatsapp-users-delete-dangerous-text/ Police warn 1.5 billion WhatsApp users to delete this dangerous new text