WhatsApp friend in need scam is doing the rounds: Here is what it is and how to stay safe  | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams | romancescams | #scams

WhatsApp seems to be the most-used platform for scammers to dupe people. That is also because WhatsApp has the highest user base across the globe as compared to other social media apps. The latest scam that is doing the rounds is called a “friend in need” scam. Many users have reportedly received messages from their friends saying they need their help. The majority of users in the UK have received such messages on WhatsApp.

In the latest scam, users are being targeted by scammers posing as friends in need of help. WhatsApp users have received texts from friends claiming they’re stuck abroad and need money to get home. As per Metro, Toni Parker, a 53-year-old nurse fell for the scam. She received a text claiming to be from his son in dire need. Without thinking twice, Parker sent the desired amount and was conned out of £2,500.‘I love my kids and if they text me in need I will help them, who wouldn’t help their own children? These scammers know this and I think they are purposely targeting mothers because it is our natural instinct to help,” Parker told the Metro.

As per UK’s National Trading Standards, 59 per cent of people living in the UK have received such scam messages. WhatsApp has acknowledged and warned users about the “friend in need” scam. ‘Scammers send messages that appear to come from a friend or family member asking for personal information, money or a six-digit pin,’ said Louise Baxter, the head of the National Trading Standards scams team.

Urging the users to be careful of such messages, WhatsApp has said, “If you receive a suspicious message. calling or requesting a voice note is the fastest and simplest way to check someone is who they say they are. A friend in need is a friend worth calling.”

How does the scam work?

If you are wondering how the scammers gain access to your friend or family’s number, the cybersecurity experts have said that the messages are sent from compromised accounts, numbers. Such messages are sent from a hacked number or account of a friend. If your friend has lost a phone, chances are his phone can be used to send such distress messages to his contacts by thieves, scammers.

How can you safeguard yourself from such scams?

If you receive text from your friend asking for money, instead of replying to the text or sending the money right away, call up your phone. Always check the sources before reacting to any such messages. Also, pay heed to the lingo used by the scammer in such suspicious messages.

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