It is critical to be aware of and identify the telltale signs when it comes to WhatsApp scams. 2 billion users send an average of 100 billion messages every day, which leaves scammers waiting for their opportunity. Scamsters distribute scam messages in the hopes that a vulnerable user will fall victim to online fraud costing each victim thousands on average. This article will inform you of the real-life scams found on WhatsApp, teach you how to recognize one when it happens, and share some ways to avoid being tricked.
Internet scams like this usually involve a scammer pretending to be someone from your contacts list, contacting you from an unknown number with a fake profile picture. The fraudster may entice the recipient by showing them photos of their friend that they’ve found on social media or referring to events the user has posted about on sites like Facebook.
To avoid this scam from happening to you, always double-check with whoever the impersonator is trying to pretend to be, and ask if it is them.
A scammer uses their own device or a stolen account to send you a message that appears from someone you trust. They trigger the six-digit code which is sent by SMS or email, reading “Your WhatsApp Code is 101-010, Don’t share this with others.” The scammer pretends it was an accident, requesting for your number to be forwarded on. If the victim forwards the code they give them full access to their account and allows them to target all contacts and read private messages that may contain passwords and sensitive information.
Make sure to pay attention to when you receive these types of texts and emails. If you did not request a code from your account, do not open any link or use the code.
Cybercriminals are able to break into voicemail accounts in order to obtain verification codes for WhatsApp. Whenever you install WhatsApp, the account will be verified by text with a six-digit code. It is possible for cybercriminals to set up their own device using stolen account details and re-approach contacts at will because they have names, profile photos, and more information on them from before. When it comes to sending out the six-digit code via text message, there is an option that says “I never received this code.” The fraudster knows that when this happens, they can contact the victim’s phone provider as soon as possible and call your voicemail box automatically without any additional steps needed. The hacker can then take control of your account and access your WhatsApp messages.
A more straightforward type of scam is going around, where the victim will receive a message with something like “May I ask who this is?” or “Sorry, I didn’t recognize you.” Then after they reply to the scammer’s initial messaging and provide their personal information, that gives them an in for fooling the user into handing over their name and email address.
External links are some of the easiest methods for fraudsters to spread URLs. Upon clicking on them, you will be directed to a browser that is asking you to complete a survey promising a freebie which in reality doesn’t exist. After completing the survey and providing sensitive details such as your name, address, email address, and bank details-the fraudster will use these for identity theft or sell them off to third parties.
Basic Ways To Prevent Getting Scammed
- Enable 2-step verification on WhatsApp so that when someone tries to log into your account from another device, they’ll need a code sent to your default phone number.
- If you receive a call from an unknown number, answer the phone and if nobody is there after 2 rings, send a text message to that number asking if they are trying to contact you.
- When you receive a new message from an unknown contact, take a closer look at the language and ask yourself whether this person sounds familiar. You should also check for spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar as compared to normal messages.
- If you get a request for a verification code via WhatsApp, before checking your inbox or another method to provide the code, consider if it was an invitation that someone else could have sent.