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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Police want to warn people to be wary of a WhatsApp scam circulating at the moment.

In this case scammers use WhatsApp to impersonate family members or friends in difficulty and in particular need of money. This type of scam has evolved from fraudsters impersonating a bank, Police or a government agency.

Victims of this scam have received a message from an unknown number, claiming to be a loved one who has just lost their phone and got a replacement.

The scammer then attempts to obtain the victim’s credit card information.

These kinds of scams run constantly and while most people will not respond or buy into them, some people are more vulnerable.

We urge people to have conversations with vulnerable or elderly family members, to help ensure they are aware of the tactics often used by scammers and don’t become victims.

Please remember that a bank, Police, or a government agency will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your password, credit card or bank details.

Police’s message on scams like this is simple – do not engage with anyone on the phone, and if you think you are being scammed report the incident immediately.

If you are in doubt as to a person’s legitimacy ask if you can call them back, or if they are claiming to be a family member or friend ask them a personal question – for example their date of birth, maiden name, pet name or name of a sibling.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam, in person, over the phone or online, should immediately report it to their bank, and then to their local Police.


Issued by Police Media Centre