WhatsApp was one of the sites to go down yesterday, but to add to its woes there has been a local scam involving the website’s messenger.
At around 1.50pm on Sunday 3 October it was reported that a woman in her 70s from Bournemouth received a message on WhatsApp purporting to be from a family member in need of urgent help.
The message from an unknown number said that their phone was broken and they needed to urgently transfer money to another bank account.
The victim transferred money to the bank account on behalf of the offender purporting to be a family member. The transaction was later picked up by her bank and the money was returned.
A further report of a similar scam was received by Dorset Police at around 9.45am on Monday 4 October. On Friday 1 October a man in his 50s from Bournemouth – received a message purporting to be from a family member asking for money.
The victim was asked to send money via a link to an invoice provided in a message.
Investigations Officer Martin Forder, of Dorset Police, said: “We would like to make the public aware of this scam and encourage anyone who has been a victim of a similar incident to please report it to Dorset Police and Action Fraud.
“If you receive this type of message, please check the authenticity of it. If you are in any doubt, do not engage with these messages or send any money.
“We would ask people to look out for elderly family members or neighbours and make sure they are aware of this potential scam.”
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by scammers is asked to report it to Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101. Please also report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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