WhatsApp scam asks victims for money to supposedly help a loved one in trouble

A new cyber criminal trick has been reported, in which an attacker sends a simple message such as ‘Hi Mum’ with a reason for using a different phone number, followed by a string of messages explaining a supposedly difficult situation which requires financial assistance. The objective is to trick the victim into sending money to the criminal behind the attack.

BBC sports commentator Jacqui Oatley’s mother was nearly a victim and Jacqui shared the experience on Twitter to raise awareness:

This type of scam reaffirms the need to verify who you’re communicating with, even if they’re claiming to be a loved one. If something doesn’t feel right, authenticate who you’re talking with. This might be asking a question that only your loved one would know, or calling to confirm it’s really them (a scammer may claim the phone speaker is broken to avoid a conversation).


Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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