Police warn of new Whatsapp scam

The police warn of a new scam by scammers that runs on Whatsapp. How to protect yourself.

The Heinsberg district police authority warns of a new Whatsapp scam in which scammers use a trick to try to plunder the accounts of victims. In the specific case, a woman from Wildenrath was contacted by unknown persons via Whatsapp. These pretended to be employees of a bank security service and explained in text messages that irregularities had been noticed in the account of the contacted. The woman made her last payment at a manipulated card terminal, which gave fraudsters access to the woman’s personal data.

In the Whatsapp message, the strangers then asked the woman to block the last payment via pushTAN on her smartphone in order to prevent her account from being blocked. The story has a happy ending, because the woman did not send the unknown person the required TAN number, which also meant that she was not harmed.

How to protect yourself from Whatsapp scams

However, the police take the opportunity to point out tips on how to protect yourself from this and similar scams:

  • Be suspicious if you receive a WhatsApp message claiming to be a bank security guard. Contacting the bank is not the rule, especially not via Whatsapp.

  • Check the information and contact your bank in another way to find out if the contact is correct.

  • Do not pass on any sensitive data, such as TAN numbers, via messenger services.

  • If you are the victim of one of these or a similar type of fraud, always report it to the police.

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