EXPERTS have warned WhatsApp’s 2 billion users of the growing threat of fraud.
The problem has been rampant since the pandemic began and scammers are getting even more sophisticated with their scams.
We’ve already seen a spate of fake delivery messages aimed at bleeding your bank account dry.
But the danger is far from over.
Security experts are now warning to beware of WhatsApp ads that offer coupons from well-known shops in exchange for a survey.
“The invitation looks like it came from a friend on WhatsApp,” warned security awareness expert Jacqueline Jayne of KnowBe4.
“A similar strain installs malware on the phone that looks like a software update, but steals all contacts, phone numbers and email addresses – and if they find any, passwords and banking information.”
One of the main problems is scammers who pose as a family member or friend to trick you.
“You should be suspicious of unsolicited or strange messages from contacts, especially if the messages sound urgent or are trying to trick you into clicking a link,” she continued.
“Never trust messages just because they come from a friend’s account.
“Equally important, if a strange message from a friend’s account leads you to believe they’ve been hacked, don’t send them a message through the same service to warn them.
“If you’re right, your real friend will never see the warning and you’ll have tipped off the crooks that you’re after them.
“Contact your friend in a different way instead.”
Cyber security researchers also warn against dubious QR codes.
After things like check-in and paperless menus went mainstream during the pandemic, criminals have moved in to take advantage.
“Recently, we’ve seen fake QR codes taped to parking meters, tricking unsuspecting drivers into scanning the code and giving out their payment details, believing they’re paying for parking, when in fact they’re giving their payment information to criminals ‘ Jayne added.
How to protect yourself from fraud
BY following these tips you can avoid getting caught in a scam:
- First, remember that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
- Check brands are “verified” on Facebook and Twitter pages – meaning the business has a blue tick on their profile.
- Watch out for grammatical and spelling mistakes; Scammers are notoriously bad at writing correct English. If you get a message from a “friend” telling you about a freebie, consider whether it’s written in your friend’s normal style.
- If prompted to click a URL, hover over the link to see the address you’re being directed to – does it look real?
- To be safe, do not click unwanted links in messages, even if they appear to be from a trusted contact.
- Also, be careful when opening email attachments. Increasingly, scammers are attaching files, mostly PDFs or spreadsheets, that contain dangerous malware.
- If you receive a suspicious message, report it to the company, block the sender, and delete it.
- If you think you have been scammed, report or use Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 Online Fraud Reporting Tool.
- Read the latest phone and gadget news
- Stay up to date on Apple stories
- Get the latest on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8854461/whatsapp-new-scam-qr-codes/ WhatsApp’s 2 billion users warn of new horror scam — and it could cost you