Fraud via WhatsApp is increasingly common

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Fraud via WhatsApp is increasingly common. Someone sends you an app stating that this is the new number and asks you for money. It may sound like a bad trick, but many people fall for it. And that is precisely why the Police is launching a campaign to warn people about WhatsApp fraud. In recent months, they even received hundreds of reports of this per day. Often the scammer pretends to be a friend, son or daughter, just read this WhatsApp conversation.

Alarm bells ring

Your alarm bells should ring when someone pretends to be a friend or child, usually telling them they have a new number. After a short conversation, the request to transfer money follows. The police say that this form of fraud is most often committed via WhatsApp, sometimes scammers use e-mail, SMS, Snapchat or Telegram. Often a sad story is linked to it so that you are more willing to transfer money quickly. For example, the reason given is that someone has been robbed.

Friend-in-Distress Fraud

The police also call this form of scam VIN fraud, which stands for Friend In Need. The Police will now bundle reports that come in online nationally and investigate by name, telephone number and bank account number. In this way they can investigate how the networks work. In the press release we read that the Police expects the same criminal network to be behind many fraud requests.

Warn the elderly

It is mostly parents and grandparents who fall for this form of fraud. To combat this, a campaign will start tomorrow, on October 16, on Facebook and Instagram. The Police hopes to reach parents and grandparents with this to warn them about this and calls on ‘children’ to inform their own loved ones about this form of fraud.

Tips to recognize fraud via WhatsApp

  • Do you receive a message from someone stating that this is the new phone number? First send your friend / child an app on the ‘old’ number to check whether it is really the case.
  • You often recognize from the language that someone else pretends to be your acquaintance. Good to be aware of this too.
  • Is your ‘acquaintance’ asking you for money? Then your alarm bells should ring anyway. Ask some personal questions and give it a call.

You can report VIN fraud online via this page (keep your DidiD at hand). Also report an attempt to commit fraud!

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