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Police warn north-east people to be vigilant over WhatsApp message scam

By Kyle Ritchie

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Police have issued a warning regarding a WhatsApp fake message scam following another incident in the north-east.

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

Their main aim is to encourage recipients to transfer money.

Police have warned about a mobile phone messaging scam.
Police have warned about a mobile phone messaging scam.

North East Division crime reduction officer PC Mark Irvine said: "In most cases, a person purporting to be a family member, often a daughter or son, asks for money.

"Typically, the reason given is they are short of money or late paying bills, so ask 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 to explain the use of a different number being used. They may even claim their banking apps have been frozen.

"The scam is taking advantage of a person's willingness to help. Just this week in Aberdeen, £2500 was lost by one victim alone."

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

Anyone who gets one of these scam messages are advised to contact family on their usual phone numbers to check.

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

  • Email: Anyone who feels unsure about an email they have received, can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at report@phishing.gov.uk
  • Text message: Suspicious text messages can be reported for free to 7726. Providers can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent.

People can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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