Fraudsters impersonate loved ones in text message scam: Here’s what you need to know

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A broken phone fraud circulating in local communities prompted an alert from police to the public, with tips on not becoming a victim.

Police say victims receive a text message from someone claiming to be a loved one saying they dropped or damaged their cell phone and providing an alternate number for texting.

The fraudster then asks for funds for repairs or help paying a bill.

Police shared an example of a fraudulent text officers previously received:

“Mom, my phone crashed. This is my temporary number. You can save this one. Can you send me a Whatsapp message when you have seen this?”

Police say anyone who receives a strange message should contact the person using their contact number directly before reacting.

They suggest calling another family member to verify the source of the text.

“Always be suspicious of calls or messages that require immediate action and money for a family member in distress,” South Simcoe police stated in a release about the scam.

Police also recommend being careful what you post on social media because scammers can easily gain information online.

“Trust your instincts. Remember, if it feels wrong, it is probably a scam,” they concluded.

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