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Friday, April 12, 2024
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Beware of family emergency scams!

More and more French people are receiving funny messages from their loved ones. Often, an unknown number calls you: hello dad, hello mom. Your so-called daughter or son informs you that their phone is broken and asks you to contact them urgently at another number. If you initiate the conversation, a second text message arrives and implores you to send money to help him get out of a sticky situation. Or a link is sent to you, to meet you on WhatsApp. If this happens to you, be careful because there is a very good chance that you are the target of a family emergency scam.

A formidable technique

While they were once widely used in Anglo-Saxon countries, these scams have been increasing in France for several months. The strategy couldn’t be simpler: it’s about instilling a sense of urgency in the victim to push them to make a mistake.

In this sense, using a family member is touching a sensitive chord, and we quickly tend to lose control when we learn that a loved one is facing a delicate problem. Moreover, these scams often target seniors who are considered less aware of the risks (even if this is not always true). Don’t hesitate to talk about it to those around you so that your loved ones don’t fall for it.

What to do in the face of danger?

The first reflex to adopt is therefore not to rush. This would mean falling into the trap of scammers. For example, you can try to contact your contact on their old number. If he then responds and doesn’t understand at all what you’re talking about, you will have avoided the worst.

It is also important to think about and reread the message. Generally, the tone, spelling and wording simply don’t fit with the personality of your interlocutor. That said, we must be wary and we know that with the progress of artificial intelligence, certain cybercriminals have moved up a gear.

In highly sophisticated attacks, they manage to clone a manager’s voice to force a subordinate to pay him money or give him access to a company’s network. Be careful therefore because these methods could soon be used in the family context.

What to do in case of a scam?

If you have paid money, don’t panic. You must first notify your bank as quickly as possible to object, if the crooks have been able to recover your banking information. You should then consider filing a complaint, and it is also important to report any possible hacking on the site.

Another reflex to adopt: report the fraudulent message or this phishing attempt to the 33700 platform. You can also forward this SMS to 33700. This is a service which will block the sender of the message.

Bitdefender Plus Antivirus

By: Bitdefender

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer. Always interested in the way in which technology can change people's lives, and that is why I also advise individuals and companies when it comes to adopting all the advances in Apple devices and services.


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