There’s a new WhatsApp scam around. Cybercriminals pose as a user’s friends to gain valuable data and take over their WhatsApp account. Here’s what to look out for and how to avoid falling victim to this scam.
What Is a WhatsApp Hijack?
Look out for any SMS messages from ya friend about sending you an access code.
The message will appear to be from a friend or family member, but it is a scammer.
First you’ll receive a WhatsApp message with a 6 number code, without requesting it.
The fraudster will then contact you from an already hacked WhatsApp account or by social media sites posing as one of your friends.
They’ll say I sent you a Whatsapp code by mistake and ask you to send it to them. Once you do that they will then have access to your Whatsapp account and all of its data.
Why do Scammers target WhatsApp?
WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users. 100 billion messages are sent on the app daily. The opportunity exists to access your contact list and exploit it for financial gain.
How to Protect Your WhatsApp
Here are some top tips to keep WhatsApp secure:
- Never share any codes or financial information on WhatsApp
- Don’t reply to unrecognised numbers
- Avoid clicking links as they might be malware
- Watch out for messages pretending to be from a well-known company
- Add multi-factor authentication to your devices
Been scammed on WhatsApp? Here’s what to do
As soon as you realise you have been scammed on WhatsApp get in touch with them and tell them what has happened. They can gain access to your account and change the password, locking out the hacker and giving you back access. If you have sent money to the hacker, call your bank and tell them what has happened. Next, change the passwords for all of your online accounts for security and you should also contact The Police and inform them of the crime.
Summary of How to Fortify Your WhatsApp
- Create long device passwords – Try for 12 characters or more
- Use multi-factor authentication
- Avoid Sharing Info – don’t share banking info, passwords or personal details
Finally, always look out for obvious signs that the person may not be legitimate. Signs like spelling errors, strange grammar, or unusual patterns in their messages like sending more messages than normal, using more emojis or GIFs than they typically would.
This article should help you spot and avoid WhatsApp hijack scam, if you need more details check out the WhatsApp Help Centre.
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