Police warn of brazen fraud

WhatsApp and police crime prevention clarify
Police warn of brazen fraud

More and more criminals are also using messenger services to steal money. A trick with a new WhatsApp number has also been in circulation in the Oberbergischer Kreis for some time.

A woman from Nümbrecht trusted a WhatsApp message allegedly from her son. However, believing that she was sending money to her son, she transferred the money to a fraudster’s account, the police said. The 66-year-old had received a message from an unknown number, but under her son’s name. It said that the son’s cell phone had fallen and broken, which is why he would call this new number. He also asked for financial support and submitted account details. After transferring the money, the woman had doubts and tried to stop the money transfer at the bank. When the complaint was submitted, it was unclear whether this was still possible.

The new WhatsApp number trick has been around for some time. “In any case, you should contact the alleged sender of the message by telephone or in person so that you do not fall victim to such a trick,” advises the police. That is why WhatsApp and the Police Crime Prevention are starting an awareness campaign against fraud on WhatsApp under the motto “Control is better – check your chat”. Because: All age groups can take simple measures to protect themselves.

“Fraudsters who pretend to be friends or family members in emergency situations are one of the most common scams on the Internet,” says the managing director of the police crime prevention of the federal states, Harald Schmidt. “Criminals pass themselves off as relatives or friends in messages and ask for personal information, money or the six-digit PIN to verify the WhatsApp account. Such messages speculate on the kindness and helpfulness of friends and family members. ” In other cases, criminals take over the accounts of uninvolved third parties and send the fraudulent messages from them. In most cases, the scammers claim to be close friends or relatives and ask for cash payments. These people claim to have lost their phone or been locked out of their WhatsApp account.

Such scams are particularly aimed at older people, because the grandchildren’s trick no longer only takes place on the phone or in front of the front door, but also in messenger services. By reporting suspicious accounts, WhatsApp’s fraud detection system is now blocking more than 100,000 accounts per month there. Four simple checks should help to protect yourself: 1. Check your own code: Never reveal the six-digit code for verifying the account that you receive via SMS when you register. 2. Check the PIN: it is best to set up a personal PIN for your account, also known as verification in two steps. 3. Check your own picture and protect your profile picture so that only your own contacts can see it. 4. Checking the contact: When alleged contacts ask for a favor, for money or other financial benefits, always check their identity, ask for a voice message or call.