Lloyds Bank issues warning on fraud tactic losing grandparents £1,610
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Lloyds Bank has issued a scam warning to customers over fraudulent WhatsApp messages which are causing Britons to lose hundreds of pounds. These scammers are preying on the emotions of grandparents and parents as they pretend to be family members in need of some cash.
As a result, victims are now losing £1,610 on average to these WhatsApp text scams, according to Lloyds Bank.
Britons are warned to be on the lookout for a “grandparent scam” that’s doing the rounds with fraudsters using it to steal money from vulnerable people.
This scam involves the fraudsters sending a message posing as a family member saying they need financial help or are in some sort of trouble that needs to be kept secret.
The person sending the message will often pretend to be the person’s family member such as their child or grandchild.
Scammers send the same initial message to lots of different phone numbers at the same time to try and get enough people to respond.
Pretending to be a close friend or family member, they will say they have lost their phone and have got a replacement which gives them an excuse for having a new number.
Due to having a new phone, the scammer will say they have no access to their internet or mobile banking account.
Criminals then pretend they need to ask for help in paying for an urgent bill or expense.
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The scammer can also be based in a foreign jurisdiction, and while posing as the person’s family member they will ask the person to pay for an urgent medical bill or fine.
The victim of this fraud will then make a direct payment to the fraudster’s account.
Parents and grandparents are therefore warned to be “wary of unsolicited text messages” from unknown numbers.
It should be noted that this method of scam is not limited to WhatsApp and can also happen through other social media channels.
Liz Ziegler, the fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, outlined the danger posed by criminals who use this type of scam to make money.
Ms Ziegler said: “Fraudsters will stop at nothing to deceive victims and steal their hard-earned cash.
“The emergence of the WhatsApp scam over the last year shows just how quickly these ruthless organised crime gangs will adapt their tactics if they think they can make more money doing something different.
“It’s important that people are aware of the warning signs and how to stay safe.
“Never trust a message from an unknown number – even if someone tells you they’ve lost their phone, call the original number you have stored to check.
“Fraud is now the UK’s most common crime and banks can’t fight it alone, so stopping scams needs to be a shared responsibility.
“It is vital that Government, law enforcement, big tech and social media companies all play their part to tackle the ruthless networks perpetrating these crimes.”
Lloyds Bank urges customers who feel they may have fallen victim to fraud to contact them immediately or report the situation to Action Fraud.
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