Police warn of WhatsApp scam

WhatsApp hacker alert from Police
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Some people on the Kāpiti Coast have already been targeted and Police are warning people to be wary of a WhatsApp scam following an increase in reports in the wider Wellington Region.

Inspector Patrick Thomas says in this case scammers use WhatsApp to impersonate family members or friends in saying they need help and in particular need money.

“Victims of this scam have received a message from an unknown number, claiming to be a loved one who has just lost their phone and got a replacement.

“The scammer then attempts to obtain the victim’s credit card information. These kinds of scams run constantly and while most people will not respond or buy into them, some people are more vulnerable.

“We urge people to have conversations with vulnerable or elderly family members, to help ensure they are aware of the tactics often used by scammers and don’t become victims,” says Inspector Thomas.

He says if you are in doubt because a person is claiming to be a family member or friend, ask them a personal question – for example their date of birth, maiden name, pet name or name of a sibling.

“Do not provide a password, credit card or bank details without making absolute sure, it is someone you know. No legitimate agency will contact you and ask for your bank details or credit card out of the blue.”

Inspector Thomas says Police’s message on scams like this is simple – do not engage with anyone on the phone, and if you think you are being scammed report the incident immediately.

“Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam, in person, over the phone or online, should immediately report it to their bank, and then to their local Police.”

Local cyber resilience company, Outfox say they have dealt with Kāpiti locals who have fallen for this scam. “If you have been tricked by this scam, notify the bank and get your credit card shutdown as soon as possible.” 

More on Cyber security see: www.outfox.co.nz