If the scammers sharpen their wits, they are more.” This is the premise where the National Police began to give us a trick on TikTok, which is to prevent us from falling victim to the scam known as the ‘acquaintance scam’ or relative scam’.
The scam is similar to any other: the victim receives an SMS, Whatsapp, or even a call, through which, through artificial intelligence, they can achieve a cloned voice in the assumption of family or friends that, while traveling abroad, borrow someone’s phone to send a “help” message to the victim. If the person in Spain receives the message (from Colombia, the Philippines, or anywhere in the world) from an unknown number (“Hello” is enough) if they know someone who lives or travels in that country, the likely answer is that the bait is taken.
Sometimes, scammers write a more personal message directly from a Spanish number, pretending to be the child, father, mother, brother, etc. of the victim—as reported by journalist Jordi Évole a few weeks ago—and say they changed their cellphone number because their previous one was broken or stolen. In this way, they try to obtain the WhatsApp six-digit code of the person you want to scam and thus get their entire WhatsApp conversation history.
There is no possible situation
Get the scammer’s deception of the victim and believe that your friend or family member’s cell phone is lost—or stolen—and you are in a helpless situation or need urgent money. Sometimes, he even calls on the phone and can imitate that family member or friend because of the artificial intelligence with which he can copy. the voice of that person. It is known as ‘identity fraud.
The conversational pattern of extortion is based on the fact that a family member or friend needs money urgently to, for example, retrieve your suitcase. The amounts are small—50 or 100 euros—so that the potential victim has no doubts about doing it immediately and without much thought.
However, sometimes the payment of larger amounts is required through a money remittance or transfer company, amounts between 600 and 1,200 euros.
Well, now the National Police has a very effective trick with which to defeat this scam attempt. This ‘family code’ is a pre-established word or phrase by which you can quickly determine if the person who is asking you for help is your family. This can be anything from “your great-grandfather’s name or your favorite stuffed animal when you were a kid” to the lyrics of a song that is special to you. The truth is that this is something that only your family knows about and allows for its immediate disposal Is it your family member, or is it a scam attempt?