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Nasty WhatsApp scam is back! Police issue urgent warning to tens of millions

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WhatsApp users should be on alert a couple of nasty attack which may cost victims hundreds of kilos. Police have this week been warning WhatsApp users once more concerning the notorious ‘Friend In Need’ scams. Because the name suggests, this kind of WhatsApp threat begins with someone receiving a message from an unknown contact claiming to be a loved one or friend.

The person scammers pose as varies, however the recent alert from Hertfordshire Constabulary specifically mentions scams where con-artists pretend to be someone’s son or daughter.

The bogus message will begin with ‘Hello Mum’ or ‘Hello Dad’ and explain that they are messaging from a unique number than usual because their phone has been lost or damaged.

Depending on the scammer, an exchange may happen where the cyber crook enters right into a dialogue and tries to say things that persuade a WhatsApp user they are surely being contacted by a relative.

But before long they’ll say they need money for some form of emergency – whether that is to assist get a latest phone or repay a bill that urgently must be settled.

Bank details are then provided and a WhatsApp user is asked to send across funds to that account – after which if the cash goes through it could turn into clear from the best way the conversation progresses they have been duped.

This week members of the general public were alerted to this threat once more by police in a message sent out via email.

Within the message Derrick Sweeney, watch liason officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “We’re again warning residents to be wary of WhatsApp messages which seem like from relatives asking for money to be sent to them.

“Our Victim Fraud Case Manager has alerted us to twenty-eight reports during August where local residents have lost money after having been targeted on WhatsApp by criminals pretending to be someone they know – typically their son or daughter.”

Advising people on the right way to stay secure from these scams police said…

STOP. THINK. CALL. If a member of the family or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, at all times call the person to verify their identity

Never share your WhatsApp account’s activation code (that is the six digit code you receive via SMS)

Most of these WhatsApp scams have long been utilized by cyber crooks, and have been known to cost victims hundreds of kilos with each attack.

Earlier this yr Express.co.uk reported how football commentator Jacqui Oatley was warning WhatsApp users about these variety of scams after her mum nearly fell victim to an attack asking for £2,000.

While in one other scam that Express.co.uk reported on a father nearly lost £1,000 after receiving a message from someone posing as his son on WhatsApp.

The City of London Police said towards the top of July that in 2022 alone £1.5million was stolen by scammers through so-called ‘Friend In Need’ WhatsApp scams.

In a BBC interview Oatley over the summer explained how she had heard from quite a few other people on Twitter that had fallen victim to those variety of scams after she posted about her mum being targeted through WhatsApp.

The renowned football commentator said: “I spoke to any individual yesterday whose friend actually paid £6,000 in a virtually similar scam and that is because they found access to their actual WhatsApp messages so that they could find the references to the names of the people of their family.”

If you could have been targeted by a WhatsApp scam, or every other form of hoax and fraud attempt, then you definitely can report it to Motion Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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