A new text or WhatsApp message that appears to have been sent from a ‘friend or family member in need’ could actually be a scammer attempting to gain access to your personal information.

More than half (59%) of people surveyed as part of a new campaign have received the pleading message in the last year, or know someone who has.

READ MORE:Bogus police officer scams £8,000 from elderly Longridge woman

The ‘Stop. Think. Call’ campaign, launched by Whatsapp in partnership with National Trading Standards, aims to help people learn how to protect themselves and their accounts from being scammed.

And it’s not just the popular app where people have fallen victim, text messages are also being sent out to phones too, Manchester Evening News reports.

The campaign urges people to:

  • Stop: Take time before you respond. Make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is switched on to protect your account, that you are happy with your privacy settings.
  • Think: Does this request make sense? Are they asking for money? Remember that scammers prey on people’s kindness, trust and willingness to help.
  • Call: Verify that it really is your friend or family member by calling them directly, or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you are 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust, should you consider it. If it turns out to be untrue, report it to Action Fraud.

Louise Baxter, head of the National Trading Standards scams team and Friends Against Scams, said reports of…

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