Parents are being warned to be aware of about the well-known ‘Hi mom’ WhatsApp scam has now spread to texts.
Consumer experts say that heartless fraudsters continue to swindle parents by pretending to be grown-ups – and sending texts claiming to have lost their phones.
This calendar year Action Fraud warned that between the months of February and June 2022 they received 1,235 reports of criminals posting on WhatsApp as family members in need, resulting in an enormous loss of PS1.5m as according to the Daily Star reports.
The “Hi mum” scam is currently very active. If you get a text from an unknown number saying “Hi mum, this is my new number” or “ I broke my phone” DO NOT REPLY!
Call the family member on a known number & talk to them. DO NOT send any money before talking direct. See SCAMWATCH. pic.twitter.com/Qg5yAEchDC
— Perenjori Police (@PerenjoriPol) August 25, 2022
The experts in the field first spotted this scam towards the end of 2021 , when an individual claimed that a fraudster pretending to be his sister had an enticing conversation with her. This resulted in her transfer of money for “car repairs”.
Experts from Which? They have evidence that scammers are moving away from WhatsApp into text message messages in order to be able to target victims.
One reads: “Hello mum, My phone just broke. You can erase the phone number and save the one you want to keep”.
Another example: “Hi mum I’m texting you from a friend’s mobile. I’ve broken mine and their phones are about to explode, could you WhatsApp me on 07432555086, my number of choice, please”
Which? advises anyone who receives a suspicious text message should be alerted by forwarding the message to 7726 and blocking the phone number.
Anyone who is concerned that they have been victimized by the scam should call their bank immediately and inform them about the scam. Action Fraud.
Prior to that this week, earlier, the Perenjori Police department of Australia advised their citizens on the scam through the form of a tweet “The “Hi Mum” scam is currently active. If you receive a message from an unknown number that reads “Hi mum This is my New #” or ” I lost my phone” Do not respond! Contact your family member on an established number and converse with them. Do not send money prior to talking directly. Check out SCAMWATCH,” said the police.
If you get an email like this, do not rush to transfer funds immediately or risk being in trouble. Instead, you should inquire further about who you are contacting contact them by phone or asking for a voice message. WhatsApp has previously warned that users must make sure two-factor authentication has been installed on their account . They should also not give their six-digit pin with anyone else.