WhatsApp users have been warned about a dangerous scam where scammers are stealing money from unsuspecting parents.
The trick is for scammers to pose as loved ones and send WhatsApp messages asking for money, claiming they need it right away.
The message states that the person is using a temporary number because their phone has stopped working.
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Next, they will either ask for money or a picture of the recipient’s bank card so they can buy a new phone.
A number of parents and grandparents took to social media to warn others about the sneaky scam.
A woman named Margaret told her Twitter followers how she received a message from someone pretending to be her daughter.
She added that the scammer in question had clearly done some research because they used “mama” as their kids call them.
One user replied, “Happened to me last week.”
A second added: “My mum got pretty much the same messages last weekend…she called me in a panic and couldn’t call me home like that!”
“It’s almost the same lyrics that someone I know got. It’s one that could easily get caught,” wrote a third.
While Gardaí don’t comment on third-party materials, they shared with RSVP Live expert advice on crime prevention and red flags to watch out for when it comes to social media scams.
If you think you have been scammed on WhatsApp or social media in general
- Never send money to anyone unless you can trust their good faith.
- Be wary of unsolicited contacts or where the contact appears to be located in other jurisdictions.
- Be careful if opportunities to contact the other party are limited.
- Push for direct answers and break away immediately if the answers are vague.
- Never give personal, financial or security information to anyone you do not know.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Do your research and don’t accept anything as fact until you’re satisfied that it’s real.
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