A WARNING has been issued to residents across Dorset over scams involving WhatsApp messenger.

Police are urging the public to remain vigilant following multiple reports concerning the platform.

At around 1.50pm on Sunday, October 3, it was reported that the victim – a woman aged in her 70s from Bournemouth – received a message on WhatsApp purporting to be from a family member in need of urgent help.

The message from an unknown number said that their phone was broken and they needed to urgently transfer money to another bank account.

The victim transferred money to the bank account on behalf of the offender purporting to be a family member. The transaction was later picked up by her bank and the money was returned.

A further report of a similar scam was received at around 9.45am on Monday, October 4. On Friday, October 1, the victim – a man aged in his 50s from Bournemouth – received a message purporting to be from a family member asking for money.

The victim was asked to send money via a link to an invoice provided in a message.

Investigations officer Martin Forder, of Dorset Police, said: “We would like to make the public aware of this scam and encourage anyone who has been a victim of a similar incident to please report it to Dorset Police and Action Fraud.

“If you receive this type of message, please check the authenticity of it. If you are in any doubt, do not engage with these messages or send any money.

“We would ask people to look out for elderly family members or neighbours and make sure they are aware of this potential scam.”

Anyone who believes they have been targeted by scammers should report it to Dorset Police at dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. It should also be reported to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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