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Family Member In Need Of Money Scam

People in the UK who have fallen victim to a new phone scam have lost over £60k.

The scam usually involves a WhatsApp message, but sometimes a call or text, from someone claiming to be a family member.

Their main aim is to encourage recipients to transfer money.

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Police have issued a warning to the public following a rise in cases, particularly involving older people.

“In each case, a person purporting to be a family member, often a daughter or son, asks for money,” Supt Pollock said.

“Typically, the ‘child’ is short of money or late paying bills and asks the recipient to transfer money into an account.

“This is backed by a story that he or she has recently changed their phone or phone number.”

In some cases, victims have been careful enough to check with the relative before transferring money and then realise it is a scam.

But that has not always been the case.

“Just last week, one victim lost £6,000 after receiving one of these messages,” Mr Pollock said.

“The amounts of money vary from victim to victim.

“In some cases that have been as low as £20, all the way up to £15,000.”

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Police are asking people to alert family members to the scam, particularly those who are elderly.

If you get one of the scam messages, members of the public are advised to contact family members on their usual phone numbers.

Supt Pollock said: “Don’t get into a text or WhatsApp conversation with scammers. Spot it. Stop it.”

If you receive a suspicious message via email, website or text message, you can take the following actions:

Email – if you feel unsure about an email you have received, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at [email protected]

Website – If you have come across a website that you think is fake, you can report it here.

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

Learning digital skills may decrease your chance of being a victim of a scam. 

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