Scam alert! WhatsApp users beware

WhatsApp users are urged to exercise caution if they receive messages which appear to be from loved ones, asking for money PHOTO: Supplied

IN light of a new scam doing the rounds, WhatsApp users are urged to be vigilant when communicating with loved ones, and to set up security questions to avoid falling victim.

Posing as loved ones of their victims, scammers appear to give plausible reasons for contacting their mothers, sisters or daughters from an unknown number before attempting to coax them into sending them money.

From Facebook groups and adverts, for example, scammers get the contact number of their victims and a name of one of their loved ones before making contact.

Posing as that loved one, the scammer then sends a message to their intended victim, saying they need their help.

Don’t become the next victim

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Preying on the relationship between a mother and daughter, or sisters, after a brief conversation the scammers say they are in a tight situation and ask for money, but only after giving seemingly plausible reasons for not being able to actually telephone the victim.

‘My phone speaker is dead’ is a common thread in these scams, when scammers’ victims volunteer to phone them.

Inventing no particular reason to need a financial handout, the scammers then ask their victims to send them money, usually via Nedbank e-wallet.

While this scam appears to be stretching far and wide, Zululanders have received such messages and have taken to Facebook to warn others.

When communicating with loved ones via WhatsApp or any other social media tool, people are encouraged to set up secret questions to which only they and their loved ones know the answers.

This then exposes the scammer for what he/she is, after which people are encouraged to report the incident to the police.


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Tamlyn Jolly

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