Limerick woman scammed by WhatsApp fraudsters posing as her daughter

A WOMAN from Co Limerick fell victim to a WhatsApp scam this week after receiving a message that she believed was from her daughter.

The message read: “Hi Mum, I’m after losing my phone and can only be contacted on this number, will you please save it”.

According to divisional crime prevention officer, Sgt Ber Leetch: “The lady believed that this message was from her daughter who was in London for the weekend, and so replied to the number. The lady exchanged a number of messages, all the time believing that this was her daughter.

“After a few messages, the lady received one that stated that a bill needed to be paid urgently. The amount was for just over €1,500 and the bank account details for the money to be transferred to were provided. It was when another request came in asking for a second amount to be transferred that the lady became suspicious.”

When the woman called her daughter’s mobile number, she discovered that all was well, and she had never requested any money to be transferred.

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Sgt Leetch continued: “I do not understand how the criminals managed to do this but, they set up a sense of great urgency and the poor Mom reacted like most parents would. The criminals’ bank account is in Madrid, Spain and gardaí in Roxboro are investigating, but I am highlighting this to show that we cannot be suspicious enough when it comes to handing over our money, pause and think about what you are about to do.”