Family member or friend suddenly sending you WhatsApp messages from a ‘new’ mobile number?
Are they saying that they had to get a new phone and number (because their old one went through the washing machine by mistake or similar) or that they’re suddenly unable to use mobile banking, then a few messages later asking you to pay a bill or transfer them money?
Watch out. It’s probably scammers.
How the scammers operate
Steal a family member or friend’s credentials for one of their social media accounts (like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger).
Send fake messages from a family member or friend’s online contacts to get a parent, friend or relative to help them out financially or make some urgently required payments.
How to deal with this scam
1. Never transfer money requested by social media message, e-mail or text message.
Beware of e-mail, text, WhatsApp, Twitter or other messages strongly pressuring you into making urgent payments – it’s virtually always a scam.
2. Call and speak to the person who appears to be contacting you using the old phone number you have for them to verify that it’s actually them messaging you. Failing that, try the new number and make sure you speak to the person on the other end to verify who it is and what you’re being asked to do.
3. Use two-factor authentication (also known as two-step verification) to securely log into your social media accounts and prevent them from being easily hacked. Learn more at https://www.safeonweb.be/en/use-two-factor-authentication
Received a suspicious message like this? Report it right away to firstname.lastname@example.org.