A new warning has been issued to WhatsApp users about a scam that uses a highly deceptive method to trick users into handing over large sums of money. It appears that fraudsters are now using emotional blackmail in an attempt to get WhatsApp users to hand over these amounts, according to a report circulated by several foreign websites, including Teller Report.
A user named Alison was exposed to one of these recent scams, through a message that appeared on her phone claiming to be from her son. The first message said, "Hello mom, I dropped my phone in the toilet (sad face emoji) this is my new number.
Alison explained that she did what most parents would do and promptly replied asking if it was really her son, and a letter confirming this soon followed.
But the next day, her purported son sent her a letter asking for £2,600, explaining that he needed to repay a particular loan.
For her part, Allison confirmed that she did not doubt the message for a moment, but tried to call her son again on the number she got to make sure everything was okay.
However, each time, the person on the other end would tell her he couldn't talk and constantly pressure her to make the payment quickly.
After her anxiety grew, she agreed to pay, but luckily, she showed him that she had forgotten to click on the final payment confirmation.
When the fraudster asked her to send a photo of proof of payment, she became suspicious.
For its part, Catherine Hart, chief technology officer of CTSI, revealed to BBC Radio 4 that this is not the first time she has seen this type of message, noting that it is very deceptive.
She also added that scammers are experts at exploiting the emotional vulnerability of the public, which is a particularly pernicious example.
Also, she advised users to always be wary and suspicious when receiving a message like this, especially when it comes to money.