Police issue warning after parents lose thousands in ‘cruel’ scam

Written by Mark Harrison

After a new scam which is tricking parents into giving their money to fraudsters, South Yorkshire Police have released a warning to Sheffield residents.

South Yorkshire Police’s Fraud Coordination Team has received a number of reports in recent weeks where parents have received a WhatsApp, text or voice message from someone pretending to be their son or daughter.

The scammer, posing as the victim’s child, claims they are in trouble and need help to pay a bill. The parent then sends money to the fraudster’s bank account. The victims have each lost amounts of around £3,900.

PC Jackie Cawley, from the Fraud Coordination Team, said: “This is a particularly cruel scam where a worried parent is tricked into thinking their son or daughter is in financial trouble and needs help.”

Police say that if you suspect you have received a scam message like this, try contacting your loved one through a trusted method – such as their usual phone number – to confirm the request is genuine.

Insist you speak to them over the phone rather than trusting that the person at the end of the text message is who they say they are.

“Once the money has been transferred, it can be extremely difficult to trace and get back. Please make sure you share details of this scam with your families to prevent you becoming victims in the first place.”, PC Cawley added.

If you have been a victim of this scam, you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online at actionfraud.police.uk.



Written by Mark Harrison

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