WhatsApp is not a stranger to scams. Even with all the touting of encrypted messages (that are not all that encrypted as we know now) and privacy given to users, scammers still find their way to this platform in order to take advantage of innocent people.

Given the extremely large user base of the platform, counting in billions, and how the uses of it only keep increasing, from messages to payments to ordering for food and more, it is a hotbed for people looking to scam others out of their hard-earned money.

The latest one that is making the rounds is something called the ’Hello Mum’’ or ‘’Hello Dad’’ or a “friend in need” scam. People from various countries have reported falling victim to this scam where scammers pretend to be the user’s friend or child in order to dupe them out of money.

What Is This Scam?

Recent reports, currently mostly from the UK have stated how right now scammers are posing as a friend or the child of the user and pretending to be in some sort of problem and needing money urgently.

These messages according to sources usually start out with ‘Hello mum’ or ‘Hello dad’ so as to take on the identity of the user’s child and then asking the parent to transfer them a certain amount of money immediately.

Toni Parker, a 53-year-old nurse, as reported by Metro is one of the victims of this scam. She got a WhatsApp message from her ‘supposed’ son and their requirement of urgent money. She stated that ‘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,” and was apparently scammed of £2,500.

Read More: WhatsApp Encryption Is Not Foolproof; Chats Can Be Accessed In These Ways

UK’s National Trading Standards has also revealed that around 59% of people in the UK have gotten such messages. Louise Baxter, the head of the National Trading Standards scams team said ‘Scammers send messages that appear to come from a friend or family member asking for personal information, money or a six-digit pin.’ 

WhatsApp itself has also warned people about this scam stating “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.”

According to reports, scammers are using accounts that are either hacked or hacking them and then using their chat list for potential victims. Cybersecurity experts have warned people that if someone has lost their phone or have it stolen then their phone can potentially be used to send such types of messages by scammers.

In order to not fall victim to this scam always call up the number instead of instantly replying or even worse sending the money right away. Read the language used in the messages carefully, see if any unusual words or lingo has been used and thoroughly check up on the sources.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: India Today, Livemint, Hindustan Times

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Scam on WhatsApp, whatsapp, cybercrime, Hello Mum Hello Dad Scam, Hello Mum Hello Dad whatsapp scam, online scam, whatsapp scam, 

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