Officers are urging the public to remain vigilant after an increase in attempted mobile phone message scams.
Reports suggest that financial fraudsters are contacting people via the messenger service, WhatsApp, and impersonating their son or daughter before asking for money to be transferred digitally.
Usually, the offender claims they have lost their phone or that their phone is blocked – in an attempt for the recipient to save a new number – which is not that of the person they are pretending to be.
Once this number is saved, scammers will then ask for money – hoping that the reciepient will trustingly hand over funds and financial details.
To avoid falling for the scam, WhatsApp users should follow the STOP, THINK, CALL method:
STOP – Take time before you respond. Make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is switched on to protect your account and that you are happy with your privacy settings.
THINK – Does this request make sense? Are they asking for money? Remember that scammers prey on people’s kindness, trust and willingness to help.
CALL – Verify that it really is your friend or family member by calling them directly, or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you’re 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust, should you consider it. If it turns out to be untrue, report it to Action Fraud.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040