“Don’t you remember me anymore?” The scam of false friends in distress that floods WhatsApp | Technology
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Scam attempts have become widespread. The Policeman He has been warning of new modalities through WhatsApp for a few months, taking advantage of alleged money emergencies and supplanting family and friends. Some are so crude that the users themselves manage to abort them even with humor.
It all starts with an anonymous greeting from a phone not registered in the recipient’s address book and with foreign prefixes. The potential victim asks the logical question: Who are you? From there, with more or less skill, the scammer pretends that the recipient is the one who gives him the keys to her false identity.
– Has it been so long that you no longer remember me?
– I’m sorry, but I don’t have you in my contact list and your WhatsApp status only says: God is love.
– My name starts with C, replies the offender using a common letter in names.
– You must be Christ, then.
– Hahaha, I’m Carlos.
– What Charles? John’s nephew?
From that moment on, the offender has an identity provided by the recipient himself and launches the hook. He says that he is at the airport of any foreign country (in this case it was Brazil, although the cell phone prefix was Bolivian), blocked and without money, so he asks for financial help to get out of the jam.
-I thought you were in London, replies the potential victim before suspicion.
I have had to travel for work. How are you doing? Explains the scammer to gain confidence.
-Well, in engineering, as always.
-Try it with someone else. Carlos would have known that I have never worked in engineering.
Ricardo Sanz, head of security for companies at Evolutio, explains with a simple example how to react to any scam attempt from an unknown source: “If you meet someone you don’t know on the street, normally, you don’t say hello; Well, you don’t have to respond to a strange email address or phone number either.” If there is any doubt, like this user, one possibility is to make a statement whose veracity is only known by the person they are pretending to be.
Some recipients resort to humor and have posted their reactions on Twitter. This is the case of Frida, who has published on the social network: “The day has come. They have tried to swindle me and I have taken the opportunity to put on a soap opera”.
Frida provides the scammer with a false identity and, immediately, when she receives the request for money, she accuses him of having banged her boyfriend three days before their wedding. “And you want me to do you a favor now? But what a tough face you have… What’s up? That Paco has left you. Is that it? ”, She continues with the joke to put together the soap opera of hers. The scammer disappears.
Mónica Escudero, journalist and coordinator at @elcomidista He has also shared his reaction on Twitter to a similar attempt. “Guess who may be writing to you from here, from abroad who appreciates you very much,” the conversation begins. Spelling and grammatical errors are an indicator of the scam.
Escudero replies: “Well, I don’t know, but I’m going to tell you something. I am a Nigerian prince who has a huge inheritance to leave to someone as I have no offspring and no family. Won’t you be interested? You would only have to make some small arrangements to give me money and such…. If you appreciate me so much, surely you are interested in giving me money.”
These scam attempts are easily identifiable. But there are other more sophisticated ones that play on the urgency of a close family member. This is the notice made by the Police: “The fraudsters contact women and deceive them by posing as their children to request, urgently, #money in order to deal with an immediate problem. According to the agents, in some cases they have managed to capture more than 2,000 euros.
— National Police (@police) April 4, 2022
As explained by the Granada Local Police in a tweet in which it warns of the proliferation of these scams, “they can be easily detected, due to the fact that they have grammatical and spelling errors.” “In the event that you have received the message, it is recommended that you block the contact,” they recommend.
We have already warned you, but scammers keep trying to trick us by writing to us on WhatsApp saying that they are relatives whom we have not seen for a long time.
Do not bite, they only intend to gain your trust so that you send them money. pic.twitter.com/NUdlsC4LVB
– GRANADA LOCAL POLICE (@PoliciaGr) December 29, 2021
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