There are many attempts by crooks to lure people50895 Cybercrime
into answering a WhatsApp message, email or text
from what appears to be a friend or relative.

Simply put, some bad guys have managed to access the other person's Contacts directory and have sent messages to most if not all, of them saying something like, "I hope you are well. Can I ask a favour?".  Another message seen purports to be from a family member who needs urgent help due to a medical or legal emergency. They'll ask you to wire them money or send a Venmo or Cash App transfer to help. They'll also ask you not to call them.

Another fake message (shown as received) is, "Hi, I trust you are well!? Sorry to bother you, do you order from john lewis OR amazon ? Kind Regards". Of course the temptation is to message back asking what they want but STOP! — their phone has been hacked so it’s not them you’re contacting but some fraudster who’s controlling their phone and their WhatsApp or email account. It is then very easy to reveal information you shouldn’t.

If you receive a message from what appears to be someone you know,
in the style shown above, it is best to ignore it.

  • If you really need to check that it is them, contact them in some other way NOT via WhatsApp or their mobile phone as either or both could have been hacked.

To keep yourself safe from fraud, never share your account details or any passcode or verification codes with anyone.

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF FRAUD OR CYBER CRIME, You can talk to fraud and cybercrime specialists at Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 at any time of day or night; the service enables you to both report a fraud and find help and support.

Action Fraud

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Action Fraud, run by the City of London Police, is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.