Science & Tech

How to spot the new WhatsApp 'family emergency' scam

How to spot the new WhatsApp 'family emergency' scam
WhatsApp Aims To Boost Popularity in US

Experts have issued a warning over a new wave of WhatsApp scams that claims your family is in trouble.

As it stands, the messages contain a generic sense of urgency that often ask for financial help due to a high bill, a late payment or "urgently needing money" for an emergency. That is why this type of fraud is referred to as a 'friend or family emergency scam'.

VPN Overview claim that while the number is unfamiliar, the profile photo can be tied to someone they know. They can do this by simply saving a photo from a friend or family's social media account.

Sometimes the message itself can be quite personal, and if the shoe fits, make people more susceptible to handing over their money "to help". For instance, they can contain phrases like "I should’ve asked you for help when we were in that bar yesterday…"

This makes the scam much more believable to some. Victims can end up losing thousands in cash, and it's often those over the age of 50 who are more inclined to accept and send.

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To ensure you do not fall victim to these scams, VPN Overview has urged users to look out for the following:

  • "Scammer creates a sense of urgency and pressures you to pay quickly.
  • "Scammer contacts you from an unknown number.
  • "Scammer informs about a number change and quickly talks about money.
  • "Poor English is used in their messages.
  • "Scammer does not want to be called.
  • "Scammer asks for money to be transferred to an unknown account or uses an app that hides account numbers."

If you happen to be a victim of WhatsApp fraud, report the incident to the police and your bank immediately.

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