Warning Regarding New WhatsApp ‘Hello Mom’ Message Scam That Could Cost You Thousands of Dollars
Scammers target parents by pretending to be a child in need of financial help.
Consumer magazine Which? reports that the sinister con artist has already withdrawn Â£ 50,000 from the pockets of affected parents across the UK.
The company has provided some sample images of what it’s like to communicate with scammers.
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The scammer – who is messaging from an unknown number – starts the conversation by pretending to be the target’s daughter, with a message like, “Hi Mom, this is my new number.”
To be less suspicious, the scammer claims to have lost his phone and had to change his number.
The scammer quickly gets right to the point and tries to set up a demand for money by saying, “I’m ashamed to ask you this … But I forgot something very important.” x â.
They add, “Well mom, I can’t do banking with my own phone number.
“I now have a payment which must be paid today at the latest. It is now impossible.
âBecause of the security checks on my old number. Are you okay if you pay the payment until i get back to my bank? It will be Friday. ”
Fortunately, the mother in the example was made aware and asked the scammer to tell her which child was contacting her, but official figures show that almost Â£ 50,000 has already been lost due to the ‘hello mom’ frauds and âhello daddyâ that begin with a text or phone call from someone claiming to be a son or daughter.
Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, said some victims lost Â£ 3,000 to the scam.
Figures from Action Fraud show 25 cases of fraud were reported between August and October, with victims losing a combined total of Â£ 48,356.
How to deal with identity theft scams
If you receive a request for money in a message, it is always worth a quick call to the sender to verify the details before proceeding, even if it is a close relative. Do not give out the security codes for an account to anyone.
WhatsApp Policy Officer Kathryn Harnett said, âWhatsApp protects our users’ personal messages with end-to-end encryption, but we want to remind people that we all have a role to play in protecting our accounts by staying vigilant in the face of the threat. crooks.
âWe advise all users to never share their six-digit PIN code with others, not even friends or family, and recommend that all users set up two-step verification for added security.
âAnd if you receive a suspicious message (even if you think you know who it’s from), calling or requesting a voice note is the fastest, easiest way to verify that someone is who they say they are. friend in need is worth a friend call. ”
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