A man saved over Rs. 90,000 of his money by outsmarting a scammer with a simple question. With increased digitalization, a surge in cybercrime has been observed in the past few years. However, you can avoid falling into such a trap with your presence of mind. Michael Griffiths, who was tried to be frauded, avoided a loss of Rs. 90,000 with his ingenious question. He asked the scammer, who was impersonating himself as Michael’s stepdaughter, his middle name. The scammer ghosted the chat without replying.


In the world of digitalization, where everything is becoming super easy and fast, privacy has getting increasingly compromised. With the installation and usage of various applications, people are handing over their personal details within seconds.

This has led to an increase in the potential of frauds by scammers. But these scamming tactics can be overcome with the presence of mind. UK based Michael Griffiths, who was tried to be coned on WhatsApp by a person did just the same.

The scammer impersonated himself as Michael’s stepdaughter. After the scammer demanded money, Michael’s gut made him ask the scammer his stepdaughter’s middle name. This ingenious question made the scammer leave the chat without replying.

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How the Scammer Tried Duping Michael?

The scammer initiated the chat on WhatsApp by impersonating himself as Michael’s stepdaughter, Sophie. He pretended as Sophie lost her phone and is using an old number to contact Michael. The scammer gave an excuse that “I want to ask a favor, I’m trying to get my banking app on this old phone but it doesn’t work and stressing a bit because I have a bill to pay.” Within a few minutes, he started demanding money asking to transfer £900.

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Question that Saved Michael’s Hard Earned Money from Being Duped

Feeling something unusual Michael also asked the scammer if her stepdaughter’s mother should call the ‘lost phone’ for locating it. To this, the scammer gave an excuse saying, “Battery is dead and the phone can’t ring as it’s very old’.

Michael’s suspicion grew, and he said that he can only transfer £400. Due to rising suspicion and rush, the scammer asked, “How much can you transfer at the moment? It has to be paid within 30 minutes. We can’t be late can you transfer it.”

Finally, Michael raised a clever question to confirm his instincts. Michael asked the scammer, “What’s your middle name, Soph?” to which he replied ‘why?’ The final message Michael wrote was, “So I know it’s you, Soph.” to which he got no reply.

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Creating Awareness through Social Media

Jordan Parker, Michael’s stepson shared the screenshots of the chat on social media. Through these screenshots, Michael Griffiths is willing to put WhatsApp users on red alert for being aware of cybercrimes.

Several advisories on cybercrimes often alert people to use their presence of mind during their online interactions. It is recommended to demand a voice note or call whenever you receive any suspicious message from your family or friends.


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