30 August 2023
WhatsApp Scam Alert
Scam alert – Beware of scammers pretending to be a relative asking for help
Beware of text or WhatsApp messages appearing to be from a relative, in most cases a son or daughter, asking for help because they lost or broke their phone. It is likely to be a scam.
The messages often begin with ‘Hi Mum’ and could provide several different reasons why they are using a different phone number.
These scams are designed to trick you into handing over money or financial information to a fraudster. If you respond to these messages, the fraudster will eventually request help for some kind of emergency, such as needing a new phone or paying an urgent bill.
If you get a message like this:
- Contact your child or relative through an alternative communication channel such as a phone call, video chat, or another messaging platform on a number that you always use for them.
- Confirm their safety and ask if they indeed lost their phone. It is essential to have direct confirmation from your child before proceeding with any assistance.
- Take your time and do not be rushed, fraudsters are using your emotions to make you fall victim.
- Report the account immediately to WhatsApp and An Garda Siochana.
- Block the suspicious account to prevent further attempts at communication.