Scamwatch urges the public to be wary of phone messages from family or friends claiming they need help, following a significant rise in “Hi Mum” scams.
More than 1,150 Australians fell victim to the so-called “Hi Mum” scam last year, with a total reported loss of $2.6 million.
Known as “Hi Mum” or “family impersonation” scams, victims are contacted – most often through WhatsApp – by a scammer posing as a family member or friend. The scammer will claim they have lost or damaged their phone and are making contact from a new number. Then, once they have developed a rapport with their target, the scammer will ask for personal information such as photos for their social media profile or money to help urgently pay a bill, contractor or replace the phone.
Scammers will stop at nothing to get your personal details or money. This particular scam is designed to pull your heartstrings. It’s important to stop and think if you get a message, especially on WhatsApp. The ACCC urges people who receive suspicious messages from a number they don’t recognise, to verify the contact independently.
Please reach out with any questions. Your Care Manager is focused on supporting you to live independently and safely at home.