Westpac sounds alarm over Whatsapp scam

The scam targets parents' heart strings for credit card details

Westpac sounds alarm over Whatsapp scam

Westpac NZ’s financial crime team has reported receiving multiple reports of scammers pretending to be the victim’s child on popular messaging app Whatsapp.

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Westpac said the scammer tells the parent that they’re messaging from a new phone number and that they are trying to buy a replacement phone but are having trouble with their credit card. The scammer then goes to request for the victim’s payment details to buy a new phone.

Westpac’s financial crime teams said other banks have reported the same scam and are warning Kiwis to be vigilant.

“If you receive a message like this from someone you know, call them on their previous number to confirm whether they made this request,” a Westpac financial crime team spokesperson said. “Do not allow others to use your card, card number, or PIN.”

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The Whatsapp scam comes following a spate of phishing texts coming from various Australian mobile numbers. The texts have been sending a website link used to steal customers’ credit card details and online banking credentials.

The fraud team urged customers to be wary of any messages that are unexpected – whether by text, phone, or email – and not to click on any links.

Customers can report messages to [email protected]. Westpac said customers should then delete the messages and contact their bank to check whether correspondence is genuine.