Grandchildren trick fraud: Criminals are now also trying to use WhatsApp


“Hello grandma, I need money.” With this statement, among other things, criminals try to get the money of older people. Now WhatsApp has become the platform for grandchildren trick fraud.

The grandchildren trick is known nationwide. Criminals pretend to be relatives on the phone, for example grandchildren in an emergency, and ask the grandparents to support them with financial means.

In doing so, large sums of money are often demanded, which, according to the supposed grandchild, are picked up by an “acquaintance” from the grandparents. Numerous pensioners in Germany have been set up with this scam.

Even if the grandchildren’s trick has been known for some time in Germany, the Federal Criminal Police Office last informed during the corona pandemic that fraudsters are using the grandchildren’s trick again. Cases were reported in which sums of money were requested for immediate treatment after an alleged corona infection.

Grandchildren’s trick on WhatsApp

In addition, the Middle Franconia police recently announced that the scam will no longer be carried out via a phone call, but that messages will now also be sent via the WhatsApp messenger service. For example, a 49-year-old woman from Roth was tried to deceive with the following messages.

She is said to have received a message from an unknown number that began with “Hello Mom”. As a result, criminals passed WhatsApp messages as the daughter, who allegedly wrote from a new number because her cell phone had fallen into the toilet.

The fraudsters asked the 49-year-old injured party on the one hand to save the new number of the “daughter” in the contacts. On the other hand, they asked on behalf of the daughter for several thousand euros for an invoice that had to be settled quickly. In a few days, the supposed daughter would repay the money.

According to the Middle Franconia police, the injured party did not suspect anything and transferred the amount to an account at an online bank. The 49-year-old only got behind the scam when she spoke to the real daughter and she explained to her mother that the WhatsApp messages did not come from her.

Grandchildren’s trick on WhatsApp: How to protect yourself

The scam, which was previously associated with a personal phone call, works more easily with a messenger service such as WhatsApp. With the more impersonal messages and an excuse for the unknown number, the perpetrators first try to build the trust of the injured party in order to then get money quickly via an online bank transfer.

The Police Middle Franconia has published some tips to protect against fraud:

  • Ask personally if you are contacted by a previously unknown number via messenger services such as WhatsApp.
  • Do not just include unknown numbers as contacts.
  • Get suspicious of being asked to make payments through messenger services.
  • Check the security and privacy settings of the messenger services you use. Unknown phone numbers can usually be blocked for direct contact.

That too Federal Criminal Police Office warns against the grandchildren’s trick and has a lot of information and tips on how to protect yourself against the scam.


Source: RSS Feed: Connect – News by www.connect.de.

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