A new WhatsApp scam is tricking unsuspecting parents out of thousands of pounds.

A warning has been issued for the new ‘Hi Mum’ scam which sees fraudsters pose as a son or daughter asking for money to replace a lost phone, or because of a financial emergency.

The messages start by tricking parents into thinking their child has a new number and to delete the old one. 

What soon follows is the scammer asking for help and encouraging for the money to be sent over, leaving the parent out of pocket by typically thousands. 

Although the WhatsApp scam first appeared last year, now more people have been sharing that their loved ones are being targeted. 

Last month, football commentator Jacqui Oatley shared her mum's experience. 

Saying the scam was "incredibly believable" and that her mum nearly fell for it before speaking to Jacqui and discovering it was in fact a scam. 


READ MORE: BBC's Jacqui Oatley shares urgent WhatsApp scam warning after scammers targeted her mum

It is not yet known whether the scam is being carried out by single gang or whether multiple criminals using similar tactics. 

It is believed that the scam uses a coordinated 'spray and pray' strategy, seeing the scammers get hold of a list of phone numbers and contact the unsuspecting targets. 

The National Cyber Security Centre has previously said: "Urgency is one sign we advise looking out for and scammers can be very clever with their targeting."

How to spot the 'Hi Mum' WhatsApp scam:

If you think you or someone you know might be a victim of the scam, there are a few steps you can take to avoid being scammed. 

The first thing you'll want to do is directly contact the person the scam is pretending to be, using the most regular contact method. 

Another sign is that they don't want to speak on the phone, typically making excuses and just asking to text only, but you could always ask for a voice note across WhatsApp to see if they are willing to reply with a voice note.

You should also never send money or give bank details to someone you believe is a scam and if you have any doubts or concerns you should contact your bank immediately.