POLICE have warned people to watch out for a dodgy WhatsApp con used to trick you into thinking it’s a loved one in need.
Victims have lost thousands due to a rising number of scam messages and phone calls.
Scam tries to pull the wool over a mother’s eyes[/caption]
The latest cruel tactic deployed by fraudsters is disguising themselves as a family member or friend, who messages asking for help.
They make out they need you to send some money across because there’s a problem with their main account.
The lie goes on by claiming they’ve changed phone, as an excuse for why they’re contacting you from a new number.
“In each case, a person purporting to be a family member, often a daughter or son, asks for money,” said Superintendent Gerard Pollock, chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership.
“Typically, the ‘child’ is short of money or late paying bills, and asks the recipient to transfer money into an account.
“This is backed by a story that he or she has recently changed their phone or phone number.
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“It’s a despicable act, which takes advantage of a person’s willingness to help out loved ones who are perhaps away from home.”
Police are particularly concerned about older relatives falling victim and are urging family to talk the risks through with them.
While some victims have been careful enough to check using the person’s original number before doing anything, others have unfortunately fallen for the ruse.
“Just last week, one victim lost £6,000 after receiving one of these messages,” Superintendent Pollock revealed.
“It’s really important that if you have older members of your family, talk with them and warn them about this particular type of scam.
“This is a really important conversation to have.
“Fraudsters will try anything to trick people. Scams may come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common – scammers rely upon the good faith and vulnerability of those they target.
“Hard-earned savings can easily be gone in a flash and, with it, one’s confidence.”
Talk to older relatives about scams, Police urge[/caption]
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