Welcome to another scams update. Last week I mentioned persistent phone calls telling me that my internet connection was about to be terminated. The latest calls have been from Daniel, telling me that my Amazon account, which I don’t have, has had a suspicious transaction of £1,000 and to press 1 for help, which I NEVER do!.
This week Which Scam Service has told me about a WhatsApp verification message trick. Hackers are trying to get access to WhatsApp accounts after stealing the identities of their victims’ contacts. Here’s how it works and what to watch out for. First, you’ll receive an unexpected but genuine text message from WhatsApp containing a verification code. This is usually triggered when logging into the app for the first time, when you’ve been logged out, or when you are trying to log into WhatsApp from a new device.
But in the case of this scam, fraudsters have entered your number into WhatsApp themselves to try to get access to your account, triggering the verification code text. Next, one of your WhatsApp contacts will message you via the app, usually with a story to try to persuade you to give them the verification code you’ve just received. Because the message seems to be from a relative or friend, many have been tricked into passing on the verification code, allowing fraudsters to take over their accounts. So keep your WhatsApp account safe by NOT sharing your login details or verification codes with anyone, not even family and friends. Also be wary of any WhatsApp messages requesting money. If a request comes from a known person, call her or him to confirm before you do anything and, as always, if you think you may have given sensitive details, such as payment information, to fraudsters, let your bank know what’s happened immediately.
Finally, a Citizens Advice Checklist to see if something is a scam. If you are in any doubt, stop and contact the Citizens Advice Scams Action service at citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsaction
You don’t recognise the individual or organisation. If you do recognise them, have they contacted you in the normal way?
You can’t confirm their identity. If they say they are calling from a trusted source such as “your” bank, contact your bank directly using the number on the reverse of your card to confirm their identity.
You have been asked to hand over money or personal information. Don’t give out pins, passwords or seemingly random information, such as name of your pet. Never send money to someone you don’t know.
It seems too good to be true. “ Get rich quick” often means “lose money fast”
You have been asked to pay in an unusual way. Such as crypto currency or online vouchers.
It might be a scam, so contact Scams Action using citizensadvice.org.uk/scamsaction
Sefton Citizens Advice debt advice service drop-in face-to –face sessions are now, offering advice by video-call. The service will be available on Mondays from 10.00am-12pm. For information you should check out our “How We Can Help” page on our website www.seftoncab.org.uk.
.If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available: Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444. 8am to 6pm. Mon to Fri. For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/
Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294 and Help to Claim line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk