Fraudulent text claiming to be from a child and a parent ridiculed for its highly improbable suggestion: “Yeah, sure”
- Dad “doing the dishes” scam clue
- Other hilarious clues in the text
- READ MORE: Fraudulent texts from Westpac
A father shared the clue that immediately made him realize that a scam text message supposedly from his daughter wasn’t from her at all.
Ian Whitworth received a message that he immediately recognized as a variation of the “Hey Mom” scam because the sender claimed to have done a household task that his daughter would never do.
“Hey Dad, I dropped my phone in the sink while I was doing the dishes, it’s not answering, this is my new number for now, message me here X,” it read in the text.
“Cybersecurity update,” Mr. Whitworth wrote on the professional networking site LinkedIn where he posted an image of the text.
“I just received this, perhaps the funniest phishing text a parent has ever received. “Wash the dishes,” yeah, sure.
Ian Whitworth was told a scam text message did not come from his daughter despite claiming to have carried out a highly unusual domestic task.
Unfortunately for the crook, they chose a domestic task that Mr. Whitworth’s daughter has strong feelings against.
“Hi Mom” scammers contact a parent posing as their child using a new number and asking the potential victim for personal information to hack their account or more directly for money.
When Mr. Whitworth then explained precisely how he knew it wasn’t coming from his daughter, texting: “Let’s hear it straight from them.”
He then posted a text from his daughter that read: “You knew it wasn’t me because F***ED IF WOULD DO THE FLAT.”
Another person took yet another cheeky swipe at the girl, pointing out another telltale sign that it was a scam message.
When asked how he knew it wasn’t from his daughter, Mr Whitworth shared his response
“The text does not ask you to send money,” he wrote.
“A clear indication that this is not coming from one of your children. This seems legitimate to me.
Mr Whitworth, co-founder of audio-visual equipment supplier Scene Change, agrees.
“Ah yes, phishers are like the seven rungs of trust before the question of money is raised,” he wrote.
“Real Kids: MONEY NOW”
Another parent commenting on the post said a scammer pretending to be their child said they had dropped their normal phone in the toilet which was “much more believable”.
“My former insurance client’s claims department told me this was their No. 1 claim,” Mr. Whitworth said.
A Scamwatch spokesperson said the watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), received more than 9,700 reports of “Hi Mum” scams last year, totaling losses of nearly $7.2 million.
Mr Whitworth said an insurer told him a common scam tactic was to pretend it was a child who had dropped their phone in the toilet.
“Victims are contacted – most often via WhatsApp – by a scammer posing as a family member or friend,” the spokesperson said.
“They will claim to have lost or damaged their phone and make contact from a new temporary number.”
“The scammer will ask for personal information such as money to help them urgently pay a bill or replace their phone.”
Scamwatch said anyone receiving a message from a number they don’t recognize should independently verify the contact by contacting the person the messenger claims to be.
Another way to thwart a potential fraudster is to ask a question that only the child knows and insist on an answer.
HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED BY TEXT
1. Don’t respond directly to a spam text message
2. Do not disclose any personal information
3. Don’t click any links in a text message
4. Be careful with what any text from an unknown number says