By Ron Howells • 19 September 2021 • 15:10
New WhatsApp scam is robbing THOUSANDS from baffled victims
A New WhatsApp scam is robbing THOUSANDS from baffled victims bank accounts.
WHATSAPP users from around the world are being warned about a scam that could see criminals steal thousands from them. This latest scam involves cyber-criminals posing as friends or family to convince you to transfer money to them.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has been warning people about the fraud. An example of the scam on the CTSI website read as follows:
“A member of the public named Alison received a message on the popular messaging platform WhatsApp: “Hi mum, I’ve dropped my phone down the loo (sad emoji) this is my new number.”
“Alison replied to the message and asked if it was her son, Will, to which the scammer replied in the affirmative.
“The very next day, Alison’s ‘son’ messaged her asking for £2,600 and explained that he had got mixed up with loan sharks and needed to pay up. Alison didn’t doubt the message for a moment.”
The CTSI went on to explain how Alison did try and ring the number she thought belonged to her son but kept receiving excuses as to why ‘he’ couldn’t answer.
The scammer pressured Alison into paying quickly so she tried to send money to the scammer’s bank details, but fortunately, she forgot to click the final payment confirmation and the money wasn’t sent. She later found out it was a scam after the cyber-criminal started asking for proof the money had been sent.
“This is not the first time I have seen this type of message, which is highly deceptive. Scammers are experts at exploiting the emotional vulnerability of the public, and this is a particularly insidious example of it.
“When receiving a message out of the blue like this, always be suspicious and doubly so when money is involved. Alison did the right thing by trying to call the number to verify, but as we see, fraudsters are skilled at influencing quick action, and she almost lost money to its” said CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart.
If you live in the UK or receive a suspicious message on your UK mobile in Spain, you can forward texts to 7726, where a free Ofcom service will look into the suspected scam.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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