A widespread scam has now arrived on WhatsApp, as the police and the LKA warn. Until now, the nasty trick was only known on the phone.
The police warn of a new variant of the so-called grandson trick, in which the scammers use the messenger service WhatsApp.
In the past three months alone, 123 acts have become known throughout the country, and in 42 of these cases the fraudsters have been successful, according to the Schleswig-Holstein State Criminal Police Office(LKA). A damage of more than 113,000 euro had resulted. “We assume a high number of unreported cases, since many fraud attempts are probably not even reported,” said an LKA spokeswoman.
“Grandson trick” goes digital and is even nastier
The classic grandson trick has been around for years. Fraudsters search the phone book for first names that suggest an old person. Then they call the pensioner, pretend to be a grandson or granddaughter and want money. Often, an emergency situation is feigned and psychological pressure is exerted on the seniors.
Also interesting: Spam phone numbers you should not answer.
With WhatsApp, the grandchild trick is even more difficult to see through and is therefore not only aimed at supposed grandparents, but also at parents. Potential victims now receive a message that begins as follows: “Hi mom, I have a new number…”. This is reported by the police in NRW. However, the message, which begins harmlessly, then always ends with a request for a money transfer.
Also interesting: Beware of WhatsApp rip-offs with malware!
The best protection against the scam
First of all, you should basically be careful with messages that want to inform you about a number changeb. This is because WhatsApp has a built-in function that indicates when one of your contacts changes numbers.
Another way to protect yourself from being ripped off by the grandchild trick on WhatsApp is also quite simple. Save the new number first and also reply only after you have contacted the old number. So it is best to call the current number you have from the person in question directly and clarify the matter in person. If you do not have children, you can block the number directly.