“Hello mom, my cell phone broke, this is my new number” – WhatsApp users have received messages of this type again and again in recent months. If you are one of them, you should delete this message immediately. Behind this is a fraud attempt in which cyber criminals want your money.
This WhatsApp message is a modern form of the “grandchild trick”. You are no longer tricked by a phone call, but by WhatsApp message. Unlike the telephone scam, in which scammers specifically look for people with old-fashioned names in phone books, among other things, scammers are no longer just targeting older generations.
WhatsApp scam: “Hello Mom” - this is how the scam works
The content of the messages varies. But they always start with the text “Hello Mom” or “Hello Dad”. Then it is pretended that the mobile phone is broken or lost or that the old SIM card no longer works.
Do you get such a message on WhatsApp, does not react to it. If you are unsure whether a parent could actually be behind this, contact your children via the old, familiar number. In most cases, they will call and not know about a new cell phone number. What happens when you answer?
- The scammers start a normal conversation pretending that the old smartphone is broken.
- After that, the conversation goes in a direction in which one to pay something target.
- For example, the fake “mama” states that there are two more Online orders must be paid forbut payment is not possible because the online banking app has not yet been activated on the new smartphone.
- you shall accept payment. There is an alleged deadline that ends at midnight. Thereafter, reminder fees are due.
- So pressure should be put on you and you shouldn’t have much time to think about it, but make the payment immediately.
- The outstanding amounts are included mostly four digits, as this includes “repair costs” and the price of a MacBook or similar technical device to be paid. Amounts between 1,000 and 5,000 euros are often reported.
- Sometimes the transfer of a “Deposit‘ because you’ve had an accident or are about to go to jail.
- You shouldn’t give the money to that Account of the Fake Children transfer, but supposedly directly to the target account of the respective company.
- Of course, these are not accounts of companies where something was bought, but of them Bank details of scammers. In most cases, a foreign-sounding recipient name and an account abroad are given. So don’t transfer anything, but stop the conversation at this point at the latest.
WhatsApp scam: is there a refund?
This is how you protect yourself
Anyone who writes regularly with their children often recognizes such fraudulent messages by the different writing style. For example, the emoji frequency changes, more spelling mistakes are suddenly made or unusual expressions are used.
Do you get such a message or know those affected, does not delete the conversation history immediatelybut reports to the police. In general, you should be skeptical about messages from unknown users via WhatsApp. If you add the unknown number to your phone book, you should be able to see the profile picture. There you can often check who is behind it. You can also ask the user with the unknown number something that only the specified sender can answer. If you are contacted by someone who pretends to be your son or daughter, for example asks about an event from your childhood. If you are unsure about the sender, block it to be safe. If someone you know actually writes to you, they will probably find another way to contact you. Alternatively, you call the alleged sender and check who is really behind the number.