Menu Close

Beware emails and WhatsApp messages asking for loans

Check credit my

A reminder: don’t trust an email or WhatsApp message from a friend asking for a short-term loan.

We are increasingly seeing reports from people who have been duped into sending money after seemingly being contacted by a friend.

Fraudsters are hacking into people’s email systems and, having read previous correspondence, sending victims a series of chatty emails asking about a mutual friend.

Credit beureau

The emails and WhatsApp messages are designed to persuade the receiver that the person is who they say they are. A few hours later comes a plausible request for a short-term loan. It might be that they are stuck abroad, have been robbed, or their car has broken down.

The way to protect yourself is straightforward – don’t send any money after receiving such a request without talking to the person first and establishing that they really need a loan. If they start making excuses as to why they can’t talk to you, be doubly suspicious. The same is true of sending companies money. Just because you were expecting to send a firm some money, don’t automatically assume that the email request is genuine – if it’s a significant sum, always phone first.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions.

  Government taskforce to tackle sharp rise in scams during pandemic