Top Whatsapp Scams: Be Aware Of

WhatsApp has over two billion users, making it one of the most popular instant messaging apps on the planet. Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that some are attempting to use it to steal your personal and financial information. 

Scammers follow the masses wherever they go. As a result, WhatsApp is used for a variety of different scams.

Here are some of the most common WhatsApp scams to Be Aware of:

Fake Giveaways

The target receives a text message informing them that they have won a prize. They are then instructed to respond with personal information or to click on a link to claim their prize. 

These scams are easy to spot if the award notification is for a giveaway you did not participate in or if you are asked for payment. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the prize, contact the brand directly via their website or social media.

Emergency scams 

Family emergency scams, also known as impersonation scams, occur when someone contacts the victim posing as a relative. To persuade victims, the scammer may claim that their phone has broken and they are using a replacement or a friend’s phone. 

The impostor then asks for money to solve an emergency. For example, the individual may claim that they require cash immediately and that their wallet has been stolen.

Account Hijacking 

Hijacking a WhatsApp account is simpler than you might think. The scammer will download WhatsApp and enter the victim’s phone number. WhatsApp will then send a verification code to the number in order to ensure that only the person who is using the number can log in. 

Scammers, on the other hand, use social engineering techniques to persuade the real owner of the number to share the verification code with them.

They can then use the victim’s WhatsApp account as their own once they have the code. This can then be used to pull off a terrifyingly convincing version of the Emergency Scam.

Pig Butchering Scams 

Scammers are known to contact people at random and engage them in conversation while pretending to be someone of the opposite sex. They will pretend to be romantically interested and continue chatting with the victim for several days or even months. 

These are known as Pig Butchering Scams, and you can learn more about them here. The victim will quickly begin to believe that they are conversing with a genuine person who is interested in them. 

When the scammer realises this, they begin demanding money for a variety of reasons, such as a bill payment or a family emergency, with the promise of returning it as soon as possible.

They will attempt to extract as much money as possible and will block the victim if they become suspicious. 

The scammer may also attempt to entice the victim to invest in a bogus platform that promises exorbitant returns. These are typically Advance Fee Scams in which the victim is asked to pay hidden fees in order to withdraw their fictitious profits.

WhatsApp Gold 

This scam is nearly as old as WhatsApp. This scam takes the form of hoax messages claiming that WhatsApp has released an upgraded version of its app called WhatsApp Gold/Blue/Pink, and so on, with allegedly more features. Along with the message is a malicious APK file that, if installed, will install adware and spyware on the device.

 Corrupt Attachments 

In a variation of the above scam, malware is distributed in the form of safe-looking files such as PDFs and Excel files. The message will be written in such a way that the recipient will be intrigued to see what the file contains.

When they download the file and attempt to access it, the device reports that it is corrupted. Malware, on the other hand, will be deployed in the background.

Tips to Avoid Whatsapp Scams

Staying safe on WhatsApp begins with understanding the most common types of scams. However, here are some additional precautions you can take to avoid becoming a victim: 

  1. Be cautious of any messages requesting money. To assess the situation, make direct contact with the alleged person or entity. 
  1. Check out any new phone numbers that appear to be from family or friends. 
  1. Keep an eye out for spelling and grammar errors. Texts from legitimate businesses or agencies will be error-free. 
  1. If the person claims to be someone you know, consider whether their writing style corresponds to their usual communication style. 
  1. Ask a question to the scammer that only a relative or friend would know the answer to.
  1. Use none of the links or contact information provided in the text. Find the company’s or organization’s official contact details online. 
  1. Keep in mind that government entities will never call or text you. Never divulge information about your bank accounts or personal data, such as your Social Security number or birthdate. 
  1. Put two-factor authentication in place. If a hacker tries to open your Whatsapp account from another mobile device, this security measure stops them. 
  1. When WhatsApp messages ask you to share a verification code, don’t reply. Block any shady WhatsApp users.

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