A warning has been issued as WhatsApp scam cases have risen by 2000 per cent, according to experts.
Fraudsters are using the messaging platform to steal money from users with people loosing nearly £ 2,000 on average.
Scammers often use messages that are “very personal” in an attempt to impersonate a family member who have lost their phone, according to a warning issued by Lloyds Bank.
The fraudster may refer to someone as “mum” or “dad” but do not use any names at the start of the conversation, reports Wales Online.
A spokesman for Lloyds Bank said: “The story they tell varies but most often they will claim that because it is a new phone, they don’t have access to their internet or mobile banking account, and therefore they need urgent help with paying a bill. ”
The banking giant issued a list of guidance for people to stay safe from scammers. This includes being wary of messages from unknown numbers and not rushing into anything.
Liz Ziegler, Fraud Prevention Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Organized criminal gangs are always inventing new ways to dupe people out of their hard-earned cash. The emergence of the WhatsApp scam over the last year shows the depths to which these heartless crooks are prepared to sink.
“This is a cruel scam which preys on someone’s love for their family and friends, and that natural instinct we all have to protect those closest to us. With fraud on the rise it’s vital that people are aware of the warning signs and how to stay safe.
“Never ever trust a message from an unknown number without first independently verifying the person’s identity, even if it claims to be from someone you know. Always insist on speaking to someone before sending any money.”
Experts at The MoneyEdit listed a number of scams now circulating on WhatsApp.
They include Impersonation Fraud – such as the example above where people pretend to be a friend or relative in a bid to get you to transfer money.
Another scam involves the Six Digit Code . It starts with receiving a six-digit code from WhatsApp that can be used to reset your contact and login details. You then get a message from a friend asking you to forward them the code.
The friend is in fact a fraudster, and once they have access to your account they can see private and group chats and private information.
Another scam is WhatsAppGold . This has been circulating for six years and reappears every so often. You get a message claiming there is a celebrity version of WhatsApp only available to certain people. You get a link to this ‘WhatsApp Gold’ but when you download it you will fill your device with software that can steal your private and banking details.
The WhatsApp Voucher Scam will see you receive messages claiming to be from big names such as Tesco or Asda. The message may appear to come from a friend, and will say that if you click a link you will get £ 250 to spend at a major retailer. Again the link will instead flood your device with tracking malware or will take you to a page where you give away your private information.
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