Cybercriminals finding new ways to loot you after impersonating your loved ones

Mom, please help me! It is not an unusual sentence for a mother. Every mother would help their children in any circumstances. However, none of them could ever think of being a cyber victim while helping their loved ones. Yes! You read it right.

Recently, an American based mother, Paula Leonard has been a victim of cyber crime. This happened when she received a call from her daughter. As per Leonard's statement, at the start of the conversation, she and her daughter were chatting about a series and after some time her daughter texted Paula about her problem. Mom, I need your help, I have to pay two bills. My account has been empty after purchasing a phone. Bailiff are threatening me, I will pay you back within 3 to 4 days was what her daughter said and like every mother, Leonard transferred the money into the given account number. Two transitions took place through her bank account. First one was for 1523 pounds and then 1345 pounds.

After some hours she received a new text message from her daughter’s number in which she begged for some more money. After the third text Paula realized that something was fishy in all these messaging. Then she called her daughter who told her that wasn’t the one who contacted her or asked for money.

After the inquiry of this message from her daughter, the bank was contacted. The bank updated them that such scams have become quite common since the end of last year.
Although the 3rd amount was not transferred to their account, she was receiving the Whatapp messages from the scammer again where they still pretended to be her daughter. Messages like “Mum, is it done? And like “I need help” were sent.

When Leonard called back that number, crackling sounds came from the other side as if the line was disturbed with a faint saying that the mic may be broken.

Some hours later she received a message from a new number with a picture of a woman with a message where she said to Leonard that she was sorry that her son did all this to her and that she will return the money. According to Leonard it seems like that criminal wanted to open communication again.

According to cyber-security advisor of internet security firm ESET, Jake Moore. These scammers are becoming smart day by day. They are well aware of the bounding and love between the loved one. It's human psychology when any of your loved ones are in trouble you will help them in any way. So they are taking advantage of this.

Apart from the number and names of loved ones, other information is also very easy to obtain through the dark web. This indeed is a sad reality of the digital world.

According to WhatsApp, last year it launched the campaign: “Stop, Think, Call”. The main purpose of that campaign is to give awareness and protect the people from cyber criminals. WhatsApp advised those who received that type of message. In which someone asks for passwords, money, or any confidential things the tech company advises them before taking any action you have to call or voice note first for verification if they are your loved ones or not.

Read next: Whatsapp tests new features that can enhance the experience of its users
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