Hi Mum and Dad WhatsApp Scam costs parent £3,600
Many parents and caregivers use WhatsApp as a way to keep in touch and arrange kids sports and activities – as well as the family’s social lives. But just like with other messaging platforms and social media apps, it’s important to remain vigilant for suspicious messages.
Fraudsters can trick unsuspecting victims into sharing personal information or even scam a person out of thousands of pounds.
The latest scam currently circulating is a smishing attack. A smishing attack follows the same pattern as phishing but it takes place over text (also known as SMS) or messaging services like WhatsApp as opposed to email (phishing).
What do I need to be on the lookout for – as a parent or carer?
Be on the lookout for any sort of suspicious WhatsApp or text messages, especially ones you’re not expecting.
Typically, the fraudsters will pose as a family member or loved one. In the message they will claim that they lost, broke or damaged their phone – they’ll explain this is why they are contacting the parent from a different number.
They’ll send a number of messages to try to convince the parent that they are their kids.
It’s important that you don’t respond. Always stop and think. Ask if you can contact your ‘child’, or one of their friends you know directly. Ask if they have messaged you from a different number. You may also be able to spot other clues in the message such as poor grammar, a suspicious link or website address. Avoid clicking on these.
A recent article in which.co.uk highlighted that ‘In one instance, a mother was contacted by a fraudster pretending to be her son. In this case, the scammer tricked their victim out of £3,600 after telling a believable story claiming it was her son needing help paying a bill’. Many parents don’t believe they would be caught out but it does happen. Scammers can be pretty manipulative.
Can I report these messages?
Yes, if you’ve received the messages on WhatsApp you can report scam messages by opening up the WhatsApp chat with the unknown number and selecting Block and Report.
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