How to avoid becoming the victim to a message-based scam
According to research by WhatsApp, 59% of Brits say they or someone they know have received a message-based scam in the last year.
There are been a rise in reports of friend-in-need scams — where a scammer poses as someone you know to get you to give them money or asks you to forward a 6-digit PIN number. This includes a parent who received a WhatsApp message supposedly from their daughter saying they’d had to change their number. It went on to ask for help paying a bill but the parent was suspicious of the request and realised it was a scam.
Luckily, it’s easy to protect yourself from scams on WhatsApp.
Citizens Advice are supporting WhatsApp’s campaign in partnership with National Trading Standards’ Friends Against Scams.
If you’ve received a suspicious or unusual message on WhatsApp — Stop, Think, Call.
Take a minute before you respond. Make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is switched on to protect your account, that you’re happy with your privacy settings, and your six-digit pin is secure.
Does the request make sense? Are they asking you to share a PIN code which has been sent to you? Are they asking for money? Remember that scammers prey on people’s kindness, trust and willingness to help.
Verify that it is really your friend or family member by calling them directly, or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you’re 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust, should you consider it
If you need help to protect yourself against scams, information leaflets are available at Citizens Advice Thetford offices at the Abbey Community Centre. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our website: www.cadat.org.uk
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