Police in Northern Ireland issued a warning last year following a surge of reports about a WhatsApp scam targeting victims across the region. This scam involves a scammer pretending to be a child or relative asking their loved ones for money via a WhatsApp message.
Superintendent Gerard Pollock, Chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership, said:
“Please don’t get caught out. If you get a message of this nature, please take time to make contact, by a reliable means, with your loved one. Don’t enter into a dialogue using the same text or WhatsApp trail.”
The PSNI received 11 reports on one day in October 2021 alone, with more following.
The scam involves a person pretending to be a family member, often a son or daughter, who is asking for money.
The messages are backed by a story that the child has recently changed their mobile phone number.
The child then says they are short on money or are late paying bills before asking for money to be transferred into an account.