A cruel mobile phone scam is trying to fool people over the supposed injuries of a loved one to swindle them out of money.
The scam is targeting parents, friends and kind hearted strangers, with victims receiving an urgent message that their loved one is in hospital.
They are told the person has broken several bones in their body.
It preys on people by sending a text from ‘Sarah’, hoping that the person receiving the message will know a Sarah – but it is not the Sarah you know, it’s a money-making scam.
The message reads: “Hi its sarah. It its possible can you do me a favour? had a stupid fall & broke my fibula & left wrist. Can you text me back when you get this text. Signal bad x”
If you try to ring the number it simply rings out, but they do reply to messages, eventually leading to them asking you for money.
In one recent incident, on December 6, the victim asked for them to answer the phone, but they replied: “Signal bad in hospital x”
But after searching for the number 07517360190 it was found on Who-Called.co.uk where hundreds of people had commented to say they had fallen for or received this message, the Liverpool Echo reports.
One said: “Sarah asking for a £20 EE phone voucher as they are in hospital with a broken wrist. Have stopped replying but still getting texts.”
Another added: “I was stupid enough to believe it and they asked for phone credit. I tried to call the number but they said it was bad signal in the hospital. When I sent the credit they asked for more. Then I checked with the person who I thought it was and it obviously wasn’t them (I no longer had their number so I had to get it from someone else).”
Another added: “My niece is Sarah but the text was not from her phone. I texted her on her proper number and she said it wasn’t her. SCAMMER!!”
The scam was previously highlighted in July this year by Action Fraud.
A spokesperson said: “These messages can quite easily evolve into more elaborate scenarios and are designed to play on your emotions and get you to react quickly without thinking. If you receive one of these text messages, don’t send any codes or money, delete it and report it to us.
“If a family member was hospitalised, they would never be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it.”