The number of cases of WhatsApp fraud is increasing rapidly, according to the figures from the Fraud Help Desk. Until October 1 of this year, it already received 9605 reports, almost four times as many as in the whole of 2019. The AD reports.
In total, 1154 of these people actually became victims. They were defrauded for a total amount of 3.3 million euros. Last year, it was still more than a million euros.
WhatsApp fraud often starts with the message from an unknown phone number that a family member or close friend of the victim has a new number. For example, “Hi Dad, this is my new song. Please throw the old one away.”
Friend in Distress Fraud
This usually quickly follows a request to transfer money due to an acute problem, for example because the family member has lost his bank card and is in the shop, or has to pay rent but cannot log in to internet banking. That is why the police also speaks of ‘friend-in-emergency fraud’.
Although the vast majority of the victims see through the trick, about 12 percent give in to the request and transfer money. It is mainly people over 55 who are tackling.