Since the beginning of trade thousands of years ago, people have been trying to plot and scam people out of their money. In the latest trend, criminals are porting your phone number to a different network to try and get money from your WhatsApp contacts.
A ‘porting’ scam takes your phone number and approaches a different cell service provider to obtain your contact list.
Once the scammer has access to your contacts, they approach different people claiming there has been an emergency and need financial help. As people send money to assist who they think is their friend, the scammer pockets the money and disappears. Cellphone companies have said they do not have a way to prevent people from changing networks and so cannot do much to prevent porting.
Police have urged people to report scams, if their identities have been stolen or if they have mistakenly given money to scammers.