💬Hi Dad, it’s me. I’ve broken my phone and have got a new number. I desperately need to pay my rent, can you help me out? 💬
If you receive a message like this, chances are you’d rush to help your family member or friend. But this is what the scammers rely on.
The latest video in our ‘Sock it to the Scammers’ series focusses on this type of messaging scam, which is often seen on WhatsApp, and has cost some Derbyshire victims hundreds of pounds.
The potential victim is browsing in a supermarket when he gets a message from his ‘daughter’ asking him to follow a link to contact her on Whatsapp.
Fortunately, our bright pink fraud-fighting mascot Claude pops out from the victim’s shopping to remind him to Stop. Think. Tell. and block the number.
Fraud Protect Officer Tammy Barnes said: “Thousands of these messages are sent out by scammers in the hope that one person believes it truly is their son or daughter needing help.
“The scammers will make the money issue seem urgent and pressure the victim into sending cash immediately. This is to make sure there isn’t time to verify who they claim to be.
Tammy continued: “You can stop this scam in its tracks by remembering Claude the sock puppet and his message of Stop. Think. Tell. Please share this message with your friends and family to protect them against these scams too.”
Stop. Think. Tell.
Stop – Before doing anything, take a moment to consider who might be sending the messages, especially if they claim it’s urgent.
Think – Consider how you can verify that the person you’re speaking to is your friend or family member. Call them on a known number to check.
Tell – Contact someone you trust to get another opinion. Report it to Action Fraud to raise awareness. If you think you’ve shared money or personal information, report it to your bank immediately to secure your accounts, and us for further support.
Sock it to the Scammers is a campaign created by our media team to raise awareness of the scams that we see reported in Derbyshire.