Warning to Milton Keynes residents following fresh reports of family and friends Whatsapp scam

    A whatsapp scam where fraudsters attempt to impersonate family members and friends on Whatsapp is costing victims over £1.5 million.

    Action Fraud has revealed brand new data that shows the continued threat posed by a scam that involves criminals contacting victims on WhatsApp and pretending to be their friend or a family member.

    Between February and June, the scam has been reported to Action Fraud 1,235 times.

    The fraudsters often send a message beginning with 'Hello Mum' or 'Hello Dad', claiming to be a family member. They then ask for money stating that they need a new phone or to pay a bill, they then send their bank details.

    Criminals will typically claim to be a family member and will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad”.

    Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said: “If you receive a message like this from a friend or family member, don’t send any money until you’ve had a chance to call them and confirm their identity.

    "Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.”

    Milton Keynes residents are being warned to stop, think and call if a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp.

    If you think you have been scammed, Action Fraud are also telling victims to report suspicious emails by forwarding the original message to report@phishing.gov.uk.

    The national reporting centre also says: "If you have provided personal or financial details as a result of a suspicious message, or lost money because of a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040."

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