Criminals don’t have to circumvent any locks or hack WhatsApp to get users’ money. With simple and age-old tricks like the following, gullible people can be eviscerated. The police warns and says that victims have already been cheated out of several hundred thousand euros.
The grandchild trick – now also on WhatsApp
“Hello mum. My cell phone broke. This is my new number.” Messages like this are where the scammers start their trick. The criminals know that more and more seniors are using WhatsApp to keep in touch with their children and grandchildren. And they also know that it’s easy to fool them. After a greeting, the fraudsters often pretend to be a son or daughter whose cell phone is defective. Once they have gained the person’s trust, they tell about their supposed distress and ask for money, as reported by the MDR.
The decisive messages on WhatsApp then sound something like this: “I still have to transfer bills today, but I can’t get to my data. can you do that for me You’ll get your money back tomorrow.” Who wouldn’t want to help their child in this situation? But the transferred money ends up in an account that the scammers set up and is gone forever. Some are said to have already been ripped off several hundred thousand euros. It is only when you come into contact with the real son or daughter that the fraud turns out to be such.
This is how you can protect yourself
With WhatsApp, not only contacts can be written to. With a trick you can also enter foreign mobile phone numbers and chat with them. If someone pretends to be a son, daughter or grandson, you should call and ask this person – both on the supposedly new and on the old cell phone number. If no one can be reached on the new number or if the supposed son or grandson claims that he cannot make calls because of his new mobile phone, the identity can be found out with simple questions. Asking things only the real son or daughter knows makes scammers flee. For example: What was the name of our first dog?
In general, one should be suspicious when someone wants money through digital channels like email or WhatsApp. If the train has already left and the money has been transferred to the fraudster, you should contact your own bank immediately and arrange for a return transfer. In addition, a report to the police with the WhatsApp chat is appropriate as evidence.