Cyber ​​fraud increased by 20% in 2022, with a focus on “hello dad, hello mom” fraud

As part of the European Day for a Safer Internet, which is celebrated today, the public security police report having recorded 11 crimes of computer and communication fraud last year, 200% more than in 20, where there were 2021.

Data from PSP shows that this crime of fraud committed by digital means has been on the rise since 2019, when there were 6 complaints, rising to 758 in 8 (706% more), "a significant increase" which coincides with the first confinement due to the covid -2020 pandemic and during which the population made purchases through digital platforms.

This security force specifies that in the last four years it has registered 36 denunciations of scams made by digital means, stressing that they constitute "a growing criminal phenomenon", against the trend of general crime in the country, which has decreased.

The PSP claims that in 2022 the "Hello Dad, Hello Mom" ​​scam, a written message mainly sent via "WhatsApp", the number of occurrences of which has continued to increase.

Police explain that, in this type of scam, the message is sent from an identifiable contact number, posing as the child and is usually used as an approach that the child's cell phone is broken. , or that it has been lost, and that the contact used will be your only contact until repair or purchase of new equipment.

The PSP adds that, from this initial approach, the dialogue continues through messages to give credibility to the story until they reach the desired goal, which is to ask for the transfer or the sending via the platform of a monetary amount with the justification that it is intended to pay for the repair or the purchase of a new mobile phone or to request a loan to settle an urgent expense.

According to this security force, reported cases of this type of fraud are recorded throughout the country, with particular incidence in densely populated urban areas, where written messages can remain for hours and the call does not is not answered when the victim tries to make contact via voice.

The PSP warns victims to always make a voice call, being "the first and fastest way to prevent and detect that they could be the target of a fraud attempt", so that they call the number of origin of their children and immediately report the situation to the police.

The police also advise not to make any money transfers and to check for fraud with simple questions.

PSP will mark Safer Internet Day with a session at Comando Metropolitano de Lisboa, Moscavide, for over 30 seniors.


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