Police are warning WhatsApp users of a scam on the app where fraudsters pretend to be family members or friends.
The scammers usually pretend to be loved ones in difficulty and in particular need of money, police said.
Police advice is: if in doubt as to a person’s legitimacy, ask if you can call them back, or if you know them well, ask them a personal question – for example their date of birth, maiden name, pet name or name of a sibling.
However, the scam had now evolved to the point that they also impersonate banks, police or a government agency, police said.
“Victims of this scam have received a message from an unknown number, claiming to be a loved one who has just lost their phone and got a replacement.
“The scammer then attempts to obtain the victim’s credit card information.”
While most did not buy into to the scam, police urged people to make sure vulnerable and elderly family members, who were more vulnerable, were aware of these tactics.
Banks, police, and government agencies will never contact people out of the blue and ask for your password, credit card or bank details.
Police also reminded people not to engage with scammers and to report any incidents to them immediately. If anyone falls victim to a scam, they should contact their bank and then report it to their local police too.