Fraudsters have stooped to a new low by alerting parents with scam text messages that claim to be from loved ones that have been injured in an accident to trick them into replying and sending money.
Police officers in Devon and Cornwall UK have issued warnings across social media to advise people of the scam. Teignmouth Police sent out a tweet this week regarding reports of the scam.
In some messages, parents could lose £20 if they reply, according to police. Action Fraud says victims receive a text from a loved one saying they're in a hospital and the only way to make contact is via text message.
Fraudsters ask victims to purchase a mobile phone top-up code and text it back to them after they respond a message. Once the code is received, fraudsters can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.
One example message reads: “I'm on this mobile number please make sure you reply to this number, my friend didn't make it he died before we got to hospital and his sister's fighting for her life. Mum I had my seatbelt on, I've got a head injury but I'm ok. Going into Xray to be seen, please make sure you message me back and don't phone cause mobile phones aren't allowed here so please text in case I'm in there.”
Variations of the scam could include shorter versions of the text messages or versions lying about various situations. The messages are designed to manipulate emotions and rip you off.
Contact Action Fraud to report such cases and receive a police crime reference number.