Police are warning that people across the region are being scammed through criminals issuing messages where they attempt to impersonate family members to ask for money. 

Fraudsters are taking advantage of loved ones and making contact via text message or messaging apps. They message out of the blue from a number that you don’t recognise claiming to be a family member or friend. They claim to have lost their phone or that it has been damaged. They will then claim that they have an urgent bill to pay and will ask you to pay on their behalf saying that they’ll pay you back.

Example messages received by victims recently are :-

'Hi Mum can you help, I've had to change my phone number and I've been locked out of my online banking and need to pay a bill, could you pay £250 into ... '


“Morning dad, save my new number, my phone has suffered water damage. I am locked out of online banking and need to pay a friend back, could you pay it for me, and I’ll send the money back to you tomorrow. You must do large amounts via the phone, so you ring, and I’ll tell you what to say.”

Please be stay vigilant.

Tips to protect yourself:

  • If you are in any doubt call your family member or friend on the number you already have for them.
  • Ask them a question only your family member or friend will know. Take care that this information isn’t freely available on any of your Social Media platforms for example your dog’s name.
  • Do not let the fraudsters pressure you - think logically.

How to report a scam message:

  • If the fraudsters are using WhatsApp, press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.
  • Send scam text messages on to 7726 for free.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to have paid money, please contact your bank and report to the matter to the Police on 101.