You may have seen reports in the news of parents in Europe being scammed out of their money by callers pretending to be their children in need of help.
This is a heartbreaking story, and it’s one that could happen to anyone. So, if you’re a parent traveling in Europe, please be aware of this scam and take steps to protect yourself and your family.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to recognize this scam and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Scammers are very good at what they do, and they often use emotional tactics to get their victims to comply with their demands. They may threaten to hurt the victim or someone they love if they don’t comply. Or they may claim that they’re in trouble and need money urgently.
Your child is in trouble and needs your help!
This is the message scam artists are hoping you’ll get if they manage to get ahold of your phone number. They’ll call or WhatsApp you from an unknown number, and when you answer, they’ll pretend to be your child in distress. They’ll beg you to send them money. And because you are likely to panic after learning your lovely “child” is in danger, you’ll most likely send the money without pausing to think twice.
The message will go like this:
“Hey mum/dada. My phone has issues. So this is the number I am using in the meantime as I sort out the problem. Please save it and use it to contact me”.
Once they get your attention with this kind of message, they will then proceed to engage you in a little chit chat. Next they will ask if you mind sending them some little money to take care of a few things. And of course being the caring parent, chances of denying the request is very low. Before you realize, you’ll have sent the money and the scammers will be toasting to their new win!
This type of scam is on the rise, especially in Europe, where parents are often targeted because they’re seen as more likely to have money saved up.
Sergeant John Cheyne from the Cybercrime Squad advises parents not to send money to anyone that they don’t know and to report any suspicious behavior to their local police in whichever country you might be based across Europe.
This is one of the scams terrorizing Euorpean citizens. According to the latest statistics, a country like Australia has seen its citizens lose over $1.8 billion to scammers in 2021 alone. That’s a lot of money that could have been used for more important things. But it’s not just Australians who are being targeted. Scammers are targeting parents all over Europe, and they’re using increasingly sophisticated methods to steal money from them.
They might say that they’ve been arrested or stranded in a foreign country, and they need money urgently to get out of trouble. So if you’re a parent in Europe, be on the lookout for these scams, and never send money to someone you don’t know.
Be sure to also talk to your children about this scam, and make sure they know not to give out any personal information or money to anyone they don’t know. If you think you may have been scammed, contact your local police department.
If your child is in trouble, the best thing to do is call the police. They will be able to help locate your child and get them the help they need. Do not trust anyone who asks you to send money without verifying their identity first.