Beware, this SMS sent by a loved one in danger is a huge scam

A new scam already particularly widespread in Australia and other English-speaking countries has just arrived in France. The principle is simple and formidable: hackers pretend to be one of your relatives, stating that they have broken their phone. Their goal ? You ask for money to get out of a sticky situation. All this is of course false.

Credit: 123RF

Decidedly, hackers are showing ingenuity lately. This Wednesday, December 13, 2022, we detailed in our columns the principle of a terrifying scam. Indeed, crooks try to make victims believe that someone close to them has been kidnapped to demand a ransom. In truth, it is quite simply a new method for exploiting spoofing, a technique which consists in seizing the new telephone of a person or a company (operator, bank, etc.).

Towards the end of November 2022, we also mentioned this new scam around the eSIM which targets SFR subscribers. And this Wednesday, the Minister Delegate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Tourism Olivia Grégoire alerts the French to a new scam.

Also read: Hackers hack EU sites to lure you to illegal download sites

The “family emergency” scam arrives in France

Called “Hi Hum”, this scam has already done a lot of damage in Australia in particular, with damage estimated at around $3 million. As the official platform explains Signal-Scamsthe principle is amazingly simple:

  • the victim receives a message from an unknown number, yet from a relative. He pretends a broken phone and indicates a new number to contact in case of emergency
  • The second step is to ask the victim for money, who in a panic may be forced to comply

This “family emergency” scam has been used numerous times on Facebook in recent years through spoofed profiles. VSThis technique is also very popular with stolen email addresses. In 2018, many Orange subscribers were targeted by this type of scam.

As Signal-Arnaques reminds us, if you receive this kind of alert message, you must remain calm and take the reflex to call the relative in question on the usual number. If he responds as if nothing had happened, then you see that it is a scam.

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