Parents warned over sneaky WhatsApp scammers that impersonate their teens asking for money

WhatsApp logo on the App Store displayed on a phone screen and WhatsApp logo in the background are seen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on January 14, 2021. Signal and Telegram messenger apps gained popularity due to the new WhatsApp's privacy policy.
(Image credit: Getty)

Parents have been warned against a convincing WhatsApp scam which sees fraudsters pretending to be their children in a bid to steal money. 

Mums and dads across the country are once again being warned to take care on their phones amid the rise in text message scams.

Recently, Brits were urged to take caution as a Royal Mail text message scam (opens in new tab) swept the nation, tricking those expecting parcels into handing over their bank details.

Now, WhatsApp users have been told to stay vigilant against a believable scam that involves tricksters messaging parents, pretending to be teenagers asking for money.

"Hey mum, it's me," the believable text starts. Scammers, hoping to dupe the victim into thinking their son or daughter is contacting them, then go on to say they're having problems with their banking app.

A Bedford-based mum took to Facebook to post screenshots after being targeted by the scam, urging others to take extra care.

During the conversation, the mysterious scammer attempted to impersonate the mother's eldest daughter, telling her it was her "eldest and cutest child" sending the messages.

Luckily, she was smart enough to call her daughter, who confirmed that it was not her.

Highlighting the frighteningly convincing trick, she told Facebook, "Fortunately, I called my daughter to chat it through rather than just doing it on WhatsApp! Be careful!!"

Screenshots of the chat show the unknown number writing, "Hey mum it’s me. I got a new number u can delete the old one."

As any parent of multiple children would, the mother responded, "Which me is it."

The con artist replied, "Your oldest and cutest child xx."

The sly conversation continued with the fraudster sending, "I got the new iPhone. I’m still transferring everything."

The scammer wasted no time trying to get their hands on some money, as they added, "Because of that new device I have to transfer all apps.

"But the banking app has put a 48-hour security on the app due to fraud. All nice but I have to pay 2 payments."

The conversation could've seen the mother being swindled as the impersonator explained, "Could you possibly pay for it for me and I’ll return it soon as possible? Sorry to bother u with this."

Since December 2020, Kudzai Chibaduki has worked as a trainee journalist at FUTURE, capturing all fashion, entertainment, and beauty content for the Lifestyle websites, as well as contributing to the shopping sections for Goodto.com's widely read online magazine. Kudzai previously worked as a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist, directing magazine photoshoots and coordinating the fashion direction of recording artists.