FRAUDSTERS love a WhatsApp scam – and their tricks are constantly evolving.
Conmen scammed thousands of people, hunted down the vulnerable, and used intimidation tactics to lure victims.
Users need to think twice when receiving an odd message that doesn’t seem right.
And here are some of the big ones to look out for:
“Hello Mom” and “Hello Dad” Scams
It is easy to run to the help of loved ones without thinking twice.
And that’s exactly what scammers depend on to pull off this nasty trick, dubbed the “money friend”.
Usually, it will come from an unknown number claiming to be someone you know has lost their phone or locked their account for some reason.
They contact help, asking for financial assistance, usually for you to deposit money into an account.
A 75-year-old man recently revealed his condition detained out of 1,500 pounds by someone posing as his niece in need.
“These types of scams are particularly ruthless because they prey on our kindness and desire to help our friends and family,” said Louise Baxter, head of the National Trade Standards scam group.
The best thing to do is to call the person from a known number that you have saved.
Don’t just deposit without checking.
Security code scam
Similar to the “friends in need” scam, scammers are once again posing as friends and family here.
But this time they’re tracking SMS security codes – though game over of course always stealing money.
It starts when you get a six digital WhatsApp code that you didn’t expect.
They are often needed to set up a new account or when you sign in from a new device.
The fraudsters will then send you a WhatsApp message asking for a code, from an account that appears to be a friend.
WhatsApp – a quick history
Here’s what you need to know…
- WhatsApp was created in 2009 by computer programmers Brian Acton and Jan Koum – former Yahoo employees
- It is one of the most popular messaging services in the world
- Koum came up with the name WhatsApp because it sounds like “what’s up”
- After some tweaking, the app was released with messaging component in June 2009, with 250,000 active users
- It was originally free but switched to a paid service to avoid growing too fast. Then in 2016 it became free again for all users
- Facebook bought WhatsApp Inc in February 2014 for $19.3 billion (£14.64 billion)
- This app is especially popular because all messages are encrypted in transit, eliminating stalkers
- As of 2020, WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users globally
Sadly, they may have been compromised.
Pretending to be your friend, the bad guy will realize that for some reason their account is locked and accidentally send an access code to your phone instead of their own code.
They will ask you to send a screenshot.
Once they have the code, they can access your account, text other friends and family pretending to be you, perform attacks like “friends in need” scams, among others .
Never share code with others, even people you know – it’s too risky.
If it’s too good to be true, it may not be true.
That principle was long before WhatsApp but the problem is still there.
Scammers send out fake coupons that promise substantial shopping discounts to supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and more.
This often includes a malicious link asking you to complete a survey to get a coupon.
The survey will require sensitive data, especially financial information, which criminals can obtain and use at will.
Meanwhile, you are disastrously pocketed and with no vouchers in sight.
Supermarkets and shops don’t actually distribute vouchers this way, so it’s best to skip them.
In other news, Apple has become the first company to achieve a stock market valuation of $3 million (£2.22 billion).
Popular Twitch creator Slider has banned from the platform after sharing nude photos of fellow streamer Amouranth.
And internet users have been encouraged check their online account against one of the worst cyber threats of 2021.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8187188/most-dangerous-whatsapp-scams-to-watch-out-for/ The three most dangerous WhatsApp messages you can receive – and what to do