Herts residents lose nearly £55,000 from WhatsApp scams

Whatsapp App Icon photographed on phone screen

Victims are receiving texts or WhatsApp messages from fraudsters pretending to be a family member. - Credit: MaxPixel

Have you been messaged by a 'family member' on an unknown number asking for emergency money?

This is how many people in Hertfordshire have been scammed out of money last month.

In January, 44 reports were made to Action Fraud by Hertfordshire residents registering a financial loss of £54,790 from this popular scam.

The number of WhatsApp frauds has surged by more than 2,000 per cent in a year, new research shows from Lloyds Bank shows.

Victims are receiving texts or WhatsApp messages claiming to be their son, daughter or family member stating that they have lost or broken their phone and the number they are texting from is their new number. The scammer is then requesting financial help and expressing an urgency that the money is paid.

Police Community Support Officer Christopher Stokes said: "Please be aware of this scam and remain vigilant."