Police in Australia is warning residents about a bizarre new text message scam that has cost victims more than $2 million since January. The so-called “mum and dad” scam first came to the front in the beginning of the year – and has grown ever since appearance.
In the “mum and dad” scam a scammer posing as a parent’s child send them a message on Whatsapp and asks them for money.
Sydney Police warned on Facebook that scammers may contact people posing as friends and family to gain instant trust.
It said that anyone getting unexpected messages from someone claiming to have a new number or new bank account, should call that person directly on their usual number to confirm their identity.
The police further warned citizens that they should never transfer money to anyone unless they have spoken to confirmed the details of the person for whom the funds are intended.
From January to mid-July, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have received more than 600 reports about the scam.
In the “mum and dad” scam, would-be scammers contact victims via Whatsapp or text message pretending to be their child.
They would typically say their phone was lost, damaged or dropped, and they are using a temporary number until their old phone is fixed.
They would then ask for money to help with paying a bill or for a new phone.
The ACCC has advised people to be suspicious of messages that claim to be sent by a contact for whom you have a different phone number or social media profile.