Dad lost almost £3k to WhatsApp scammer posing as son – but one small detail betrayed it – World News

A father lost nearly $5,000 (£2,800) in a WhatsApp scam before noticing the fraudster’s poor punctuation.

Australian immunologist Alan Baxter nearly fell victim to the ‘Mom and Dad’ scam after receiving a text message pretending to be his child.

He has now criticized banks for not doing enough to stop cybercriminals, with ANZ initially refusing to investigate further.

The message Alan got said, “Hi Dad, this is my temporary number. I’m using an old device until my phone is fixed.”

The fraudster then said they needed money urgently.

However, Alan said his son would not text without punctuation and contacted the ANZ bank helpline to report the fraud.

Alan posted a screenshot of the scam on Twitter



He told Daily Mail Australia: “My son is an English teacher so the lack of grammar and points warned me.

“I first contacted ANZ customer service but was told so [the scam] had nothing to do with the bank’s activities and they couldn’t do anything about it.

“I thought it was an opportunity for the bank to close or freeze the account and even examine the money received.”

Alan claims that the employee refused to use the scammer’s account information.

In a Twitter post on June 18, Alan said: “So a general warning: if someone tries to trick you into sending money to the following ANZ account, it’s probably fraud: Name: George MM BSB: 016 080 Account Number: 316157952 .”

He added: “It all raises the question of what responsibility a bank that facilitates fraud has in a situation like this.

“They are clearly taking advantage of the fraud, providing the resources to enable it and refusing to act even when given evidence.”

In response to his tweet, ANZ said a screenshot had been sent to the hoax and cybersecurity department.

The bank has since said it has imposed “restrictions” on the fraudulent account amid an investigation.

In a statement sent to the Mail, it added that it had taken “quick” steps to address the incident.

But as the investigation is still ongoing, it cannot comment further.

Other users, who also responded to Alan’s tweets, said they have received similar scam texts on the messaging platform addressing them as Mom or Dad.

Some said they almost fell for them too.

The Mirror has contacted ANZ for comment.

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