Police issue warning to be vigilant of text scam

People are being scammed by receiving a text or Whatsapp from someone claiming to be a loved one asking for money.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 4:14 pm

The scams all have a similar message behind them, where they try to get the target to send them cash. Police are warning people to be weary and to double check with other family members or friends before sending any money or personal details.

Superintendent Gerard Pollock said, “We have noted an increase in the number of reports of this type of scam from individuals across Northern Ireland.

“In each case, a person purporting to be a family member, often a daughter or son, asks for money. Typically, the ‘child’ is short of money or late paying bills, and asks the recipient to transfer money into an account. This is backed by a story that he or she has recently changed their phone or phone number.

Scammers are pretending to be a loved one to get target to send money

“It’s a despicable act, which takes advantage of a person’s willingness to help out loved ones who are perhaps away from home.

“In some of these cases the victim has been prudent enough to check with the relative and therefore realise it’s a scam before departing with any money. Sadly, however, this isn’t always the case.

“Fraudsters will use any means possible to trick people. While scams may come in all shapes and sizes, they have one thing in common – scammers rely upon the good faith and vulnerability of those they target. Hard-earned savings can easily be gone in a flash and, with it, one’s confidence.

“Please don’t get caught out. If you get a message of this nature, please take time to make contact, by a reliable means, with your loved one. So don’t enter into a dialogue using the same text or WhatsApp trail.”

The scammers pose as a loved one via WhatsApp or SMS.
Some of the victims were from Derry.