IF YOU receive an urgent WhatsApp message from a friend or family member, think twice before replying.
According to a UK fraud expert, scammers send fake messages posing as loved ones to steal people’s money.
Interacting with them could give crooks access to your savings, says James Walker, who heads the UK anti-fraud group Right.
Speaking to The Sun, James urged WhatsApp users to be extremely wary of a message purporting to be from a friend or family member claiming they were “caught” in some way.
This is especially true if they ask you to transfer money, he said. “Anything that requires immediate payment.”
Most of the time, these WhatsApp texts come from an unknown number that is not saved on your phone.
The sender claims to be a friend, sibling or daughter who lost or broke their phone and borrows a friend’s to contact you.
They then describe a scenario—like a missed bill or credit card payment—that they can’t pay and need immediate help with.
“What they want is for you to send them money via bank transfer or through PayPal,” James said.
Once you pay, they disappear without a trace.
One way to make sure a message is really from someone you know is to ask them to call you.
If it’s a scammer, they’ll either stop messaging or give an excuse as to why they can’t call. If that’s the case, tell them to call later.
WhatsApp scam attacks are carried out by cybergangs through unsolicited messages sent to thousands of people every day.
The techniques they employ are constantly changing, but generally involve the use of social engineering to trick victims.
Recently, crooks have started impersonate family members who they falsely claim need money to get out of a difficult situation.
“Scams are becoming more sophisticated,” James told The Sun.
“They’re usually interested in either getting money from you or taking over your WhatsApp account.”
James, whose company helps people protect their online privacy, is encouraging Brits to remain vigilant amid a rising number of scam messages hitting inboxes across the country.
If you receive a message that you think is fraudulent, do not reply to the sender.
You can report suspected fraud by tapping and holding a message and clicking Report from the drop-down menu.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, you should contact your bank immediately to stop all outgoing payments.
You should also ask your bank to look into a possible refund.
If you shared a password for an online account, call the organization and have the account suspended. You may be able to re-enable it at a later date.
In the UK, you can report a suspected fraudulent email to the National Center for Cybersecurity.
Meta, the company that owns WhatsApp, recently joined a UK initiative to stop scammers from cheating users out of their cash.
“We do not want any fraudulent activity on our platforms and are committing significant resources to addressing this industry-wide issue,” the company said last month.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8717567/whatsapp-expert-most-dangerous-text-receive/ I’m a WhatsApp expert – the most dangerous text you can receive has been revealed