Cruel scam where parents are tricked into donating thousands of pounds sweeps Doncaster
South Yorkshire Police are aware of a number of reports in recent weeks in which parents have received a WhatsApp message, text or voicemail from someone claiming to be their son or daughter.
The scammer, pretending to be the victim’s child, claims to be in trouble and needs help paying a bill.
The parent then sends money to the fraudster’s bank account thinking it is for their child.
The victims each lost amounts of around £ 3,900.
PC Jackie Cawley of the Fraud Coordination Team said: “This is a particularly cruel scam where a worried parent is tricked into thinking that their son or daughter is in financial trouble and needs help. ‘help.
“In the scam, the victim receives a message from the fraudster, who masquerades as his child.
“They claim to have changed their cell phone number or lost their phone to explain why they are contacting them on a different number than the usual one.
“They promise they’ll return the money the next day when they can go to the bank and get the money back – but of course it’s all a lie and the money was actually sent to a criminal’s bank account. .
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“Once the money has been transferred it can be extremely difficult to trace and recover.
“Please be sure to share the details of this scam with your families to prevent you from becoming victims in the first place.
Police suggest that if you think you’ve received a scam message like this, try contacting your loved one through a reliable method – like their regular phone number – to confirm the request is genuine.
Insist that you are talking to them on the phone rather than believing that the person at the end of the text message is who they say they are.
If you have been the victim of this scam, you can report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, by calling 0300 123 2040 or online at actionfraud.police.uk