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Whatsapp Fake Message Scam

Police have issued a warning, regarding a WhatsApp Fake Message Scam, following another incident in Aberdeen.

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.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer PC Mark Irvine warned:

"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, 2,500 was lost by one victim alone.

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 to check.

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 report@phishing.gov.uk
  • Website - If you have come across a website which you think is fake, you can report it here - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website
  • Text message - Report suspicious text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent.
  • You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.

Original message sent by: Mark Irvine (Police, Constable - Crime Reduction, North East Division)

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