REPORTS of WhatsApp family impersonations are on the rise in North Wales, according to police.

North Wales Police Cyber Crime say the fraudsters are messaging victims from a number they don’t recognise claiming to be a loved one with a lost or damaged phone and claiming to need money.

They said that reports of the scam have been on the rise recently, and are now urging the public to be aware.

A spokesperson said: “We have seen a rise in the number of reports of people being victims of what is known as ‘WhatsApp family impersonation scams’.

“Sadly, fraudsters are taking advantage of loved ones and making contact via ‘WhatsApp’ and other instant messaging platforms. 

“They’ll message out of the blue from a number that you don’t recognise claiming to be a family member or friend. They’ll claim to have lost their phone or that it has been damaged. They will then claim that they have an urgent bill to pay or need money.”

Tips to protect yourself:

Police say that 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.

If you are unfortunate enough to have paid money, please contact your bank and report the matter to North Wales Police on 101