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Parents warned of Hi Mum, Mum and Dad text scam that has cost parents $2 million.
Parents are being warned to watch out for a new Hi Mum scam, that has already stolen more than $2 million from Australians.
The so-called mum and dad scam has been targeting people across the nation since the beginning of the year and it is becoming more prevalent. The scam known as the mum and dad scam usually involves a scammer messaging a parent on WhatsApp claiming to be their child and asking for money or to pay a bill
The message will state they have lost their phone, so they are sending the message from a new number, instructing them to delete the old phone number.
Scammers may pose as family and friends to gain instant trust.
If you get an unexpected message from someone claiming they have a new number or new bank account, call them directly on their usual number to confirm.
Do not ever transfer money to anyone unless you have spoken to them in person and confirmed the transfer details with your known person.
From January to mid-July, more than 600 reports about the scam have been made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
About a third of those reports noted a financial loss totalling more than $2.3 million, an ACCC spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au.
Almost caught out
Last month, Melbourne man Sam Pelusos wife received a message from her son telling her he had a new number after dropping his phone down the toilet.
She did not think much of it. Her son had previously dropped a phone down the drain so this latest incident did not seem out of character.
The fact that he dropped his phone in the toilet sort of convinced us that it might have been him. That is his sort of style, Peluso told 7NEWS.com.au.
There was just one problem - the person at the other end of the phone was not his son.
When Pelusos wife first got the message, there was nothing that rang alarm bells.
Her son who was messaging from an Australian number - said he had dropped his phone down the toilet and had to get a new phone and number, Peluso said.
Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said anyone who receives a message claiming to be a family member with a new phone number should be wary.
We encourage people to look out for suspicious behaviours demonstrated by these scammers; including their failure to personalise any communication and excuses as to why they cannot speak on the phone, he said.
If you receive a suspicious message on your mobile, particularly through social media or encrypted messaging, reach out to your relative by an alternative method of communication or call to confirm it is in fact them.
In the span of only a few months, the Hi Mum scam has cost Australian victims over $2 million.
The demographic of victims is predominately aged over 55, and sadly, many parents are falling victim because they are simply nice people who are concerned for their childs welfare, said Craft.
People who have lost money to a scam should contact their bank or financial institution as soon as possible and report the matter to police.