WhatsApp Fraud

Two Aberdeenshire residents have this week lost 4 figure sums of money after falling victim to WhatsApp frauds.

In both incidents the victims received messages claiming to be from family members in need of cash to replace broken phones.

Criminals send victims a message via WhatsApp posing as a friend or family member and ask for financial help because ‘they urgently have to pay a (high) bill’ or ‘they have an emergency and urgently need some money.’

The fraudsters often claim they’ve changed phone as an excuse for why they’re contacting you from a new number.

Always check using the person’s original number before doing anything – speak to the person requesting the funds directly. Never send money to anyone without verifying that it is genuinely that person even if the phone number is in your contacts.

You can stop receiving messages, calls and status updates from certain contacts by blocking them. You can also report them if you think they are sending problematic content or spam. If you receive a message on WhatsApp from someone who is not in your contacts you can block or report them.

If you feel unsure about an email you have received, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at report@phishing.gov.uk

If you have come across a website which you think is fake, you can report it here – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website

Report suspicious text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent.