In November 2021, Barley worked with WhatsApp to educate consumers on how to protect themselves against so-called ‘friend in need’ scams – where a message arrives, supposedly from a friend or family member, asking for money or personal information.
Insights and Approach
Barley provided context and insight into friend in need scams, working with partners to shape the angle and develop the messaging of the ‘STOP. THINK. CALL.’ campaign.
Barley supported by:
• Creating a bespoke campaign landing page on the NTS Scams team’s Friends Against Scams website
• Pitching the story to our key journalist contacts, supporting WhatsApp’s own media contact programme and securing coverage with BBC News
• Providing ongoing guidance and advice to add authority, expert insights and credibility to the integrated campaign, including reviewing proposed content for Tik Tok and Instagram
The project delivered 86 items of media coverage including BBC News, ITV News, Sky News, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Mirror and others.
Louise Baxter, Head of NTS Scams Team took part in a radio day, delivering 11 broadcast interviews.
This helped to inform consumers about these types of message-based scams which is important for the consumer protection landscape, given that the number of WhatsApp scams has surged by more than 2,000% in just one year.
Action Fraud was so impressed by the campaign that they launched their own advice and guidance on the back of our story, providing more momentum to the campaign, amplifying our key messages and endorsing WhatsApp’s approach to raising consumer awareness. 130 articles were written about the campaign by a number of national and regional outlets including the Daily Star, Daily Express and The Guardian.
consumers losses reported to fraud scams (NFIB)
increase in fraud and computer misuse crimes in the year to September 2021
people a year are estimated to fall victim to a scam, but only 5% of scams are reported
of identity fraud takes place over the internet
people have fallen victim to a scam after seeing an online advert (Which?)
reported amount lost to a scam, whilst cost to wellbeing for each victim is around £3,684 (Which?)