A similar con to the ‘Hi Mum’ scam has been doing the rounds, this time it targets adult children.
Earlier this month, the ‘Hi Mum’ scam hit headlines after police found scammers had been targeting parents with a text message impersonating their children.
The message would read along the lines of “Hi Mum, I’ve changed provider/lost/broken my phone – I’m temporarily using this number for now”, before an request for money is made over some kind of emergency, such as needing to purchase a new phone or pay an urgent bill, explaining they are locked out of their online banking account.
The new scam is super similar, but the messages appear as being sent by ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ who seem to be in a sticky situation over paying for petrol or groceries.
“I’m at the petrol station and I bought the wrong card with me. Can you send me 150. I will pay you back when I get home,” one said in a text followed by a BSB and account number.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard said it was important to independently verify suspicious messages and never send money without being absolutely sure who you are sending it to.
“We are warning Australians to be very wary of messages from unknown numbers claiming to be from their children, parents, relatives or friends,” she said.
“Scammers will stop at nothing to get your personal details or money and this particular scam is designed to pull your heartstrings.”
The ACCC suggested to reach out to the sender of the message through other means of communication or ask personal questions to ascertain their true identity.
Police urge anyone who has lost money to scams to contact their bank as soon as possible and report the matter to police.