Regardless of whether you get on with your siblings, parents, or in-laws, we all know we would do anything for them if they were in a squeeze. Or at least most of us would like to THINK we’d be quick to the rescue in a time of need - especially for family and friends!
Can’t remember your online banking password? Lost your phone on a night out? Need money to take an Uber home? Not to worry, we’ve all been there - some more times than others…
Recently, it’s not your friends or partners who need a ‘helping hand’, but rather your elderly parents or children.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), along with ScamWatch are warning the public of a spike in suspicious messages labelled as ‘Hi Mum’. The scams are being sent via messaging platform, WhatsApp, and are targeted at family members or close friends claiming to impersonate someone who needs help. The ACCC has stated that more than 1 150 Australians fell victim to the so-called “Hi Mum” scam in the first seven months of this year, with total reported losses of $2.6 million. The vast majority of these scams were reported in June and July 2022.
According to the ACCC, the scammer will claim they have lost or damaged their phone and are making contact with a new number. Then, once they have developed a rapport with their target, the scammer will ask for personal information such as photos for their social media profile or money to help urgently pay a bill, contractor, or replace the phone.
Well, how can you avoid falling victim to this scam?
If you receive a message requesting money or any means of help, contact the person directly, or on another number. For example, if you receive a message from your mum, call your dad on his phone and ask to speak to her, or call the home landline.
Once you confirm it’s a scam, block the new number.
Remove the impersonated person from all groups to avoid anyone else falling victim. It will be wise to send out a message to everyone who knows the impersonated person to spread the news that they have been hacked.
Never pay money to the impersonated person, unless they have confirmed in person or over a phone call that they did in fact send the message.
Never give them access to your online banking and never share sensitive personal information.
Get in touch for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org