A Whatsapp scam involving messages from fake ‘relatives’ has resulted in victims losing up to £15,000.
There has been a rise in people who have been targeted by a text scam, often through WhatsApp, where they are contacted by a scammer masquerading as a relative. The scammer then requests money from the recipient.
How does the scam work?
- Usually, the scammer pretends to be the son or daughter of the text recipient
- Victims are led to believe that their ‘relative’ has recently changed their phone number and is short of money, or late on bill payments
- Money is then requested by the ‘relative’, though the amount of money requested varies between victims of the scam
- Some scammers claim the need for money is urgent, hoping it stops their potential victims from questioning the request
The scam has resulted in people losing anything between £20 and £15,000.
In some cases, the scammer has access to the names of relatives, making the claims even more believable.
How can you avoid falling victim to the scam?
If you suspect that you have received one of the scam messages:
- Don’t respond or get into a conversation with the unknown number / WhatsApp contact
- Contact family members on their usual phone numbers immediately to verify any texts you receive which request money
- Never send money or make a payment unless you have checked via phone call that the person texting you is who they say they are
If you suspect that you’re dealing with a scam and you’re looking for guidance or support, you can join Tech Relief, giving you unlimited calls to our UK-based scam-avoidance experts. Our friendly team will advise you on the best steps to take and can even report the scam to the police on your behalf, if you wish.