SPAIN recorded more than 305,000 cybercrimes last year, 2021, according to the Statistical Crime System (SEC).

The theft of personal data on the Internet is soaring, with a victim falling victim every two minutes, and the way cybercriminals act is diversifying, with WhatsApp as one of the favourite channels to try to get hold of any personal or financial data that opens the door to defraud or scam.

Fake updates, malware distribution, account hijacking, false commercial promises from different brands are just a few of the different forms of WhatsApp scams. The latest is related to identity theft, which has already swindled a lot of money out of innocent WhatsApp users.

According to the National Police they have detected a new ‘scam’ via WhatsApp in which fraudsters contact women and deceive them by pretending to be their children to ask them, urgently, for money in order to deal with an ‘immediate problem.’

The screenshots shown by the authorities show the modus operandi of the scam. The victim receives a message from an unknown phone number. The scammers claim to be the victim’s children, who has supposedly been forced to contract a new phone line because their usual line has been blocked (which is the first red flag).

The scam, initiated by impersonation, goes on to construct a scenario of distress and an urgent need for money, some €3000 to be precise.

The police highlight that personal details should never be given out without first verifying who is making the request. And that ‘out of the blue’ requests for data such as the IBAN of the account number, the name and surname of the account holder or the card pin number through WhatsApp are not common actions and is another red flag that should put users on alert and not to fall for the ruse.


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