There is a new scam that is going around utilising the messaging app WhatsApp. On the dark web, criminals will masquerade as a user’s friends in order to get access to important information and take control of that user’s WhatsApp account. The following is a list of warning signs that you should be on the lookout for, as well as some advice that will assist you in avoiding falling for this fraud.
What Exactly Is an Apparent WhatsApp Hijack?
Maintain vigilance for any text messages that might have been sent to you from your friend that could contain information concerning the delivery of an access code.
However, the person who sent you the message is really a con artist who is pretending to be a member of your family or a friend of yours. The first thing that will take place is that you will immediately receive a message from WhatsApp with a 6-digit number. This will take place automatically.
After that, the con artist will approach you by pretending to be one of your friends through social networking sites or by utilising a WhatsApp account that has already been hacked and contacting you through that.
They will explain that they are sorry and give you a Whatsapp code, then they will ask you to send it back to them so that they may use it. After you have carried out those steps, those individuals will have access to your Whatsapp account as well as all of the information that is included inside it.
Why do scammers concentrate their efforts on WhatsApp?
Since its introduction in 2009 by two ex-employees of Yahoo!, the popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has come a long way. It is now one of the most widely used platforms available and now owned by Meta.
Meta manages the platform as part of its Family of Apps, which also includes Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.
WhatsApp now has more than 2 billion active monthly users throughout the world. The programme facilitates the sending and receiving of 100 billion messages each and every single day. The number of people using messaging apps is expected to grow to over 3.5 billion users in 2025. This forecast spells good news for WhatsApp, who already own a considerable slice of the messaging market and can only expect their user count to increase.
This however also means it will continue to be a target for hackers and scammers. With such a large user base it gives them more opportunities to try and carry out fraud and phishing scams. Someone gaining access to your contact list and messages may potentially utilise it to their own financial benefit by manipulating the information they gain access to.
How to Keep Your WhatsApp Account Safe
Here are a few of the most important methods to keep your WhatsApp account safe:
- Never provide any financial information or codes over WhatsApp.
- Do not respond to any numbers that you are unable to identify.
- Avoid clicking on links, since they might infect your computer with malware.
- Be on the lookout for communications that falsely claim to come from a reputable firm.
- Put your gadgets through a multi-factor authentication process.
Have you been a victim of fraud on WhatsApp?
This is the procedure you should follow.
As soon as you become aware that you have been the victim of a scam on WhatsApp, you should get in touch with the company and explain what has occurred. They are able to get into your account, reset the password, and so prevent the hacker from accessing your account while restoring your access. If you have already wired money to the hacker, you should contact your bank and explain the situation to them. Next, for your own safety, you should update the passwords for all of your online accounts, and you should also get in touch with the authorities and alert them about the crime.
A Concise Overview of How to Strengthen Your WhatsApp
Make sure all of your devices have lengthy passwords. Make an effort to use at least 12 characters.
Make use of two-factor authentication. Two-step verification is an additional layer of protection that may be added to your WhatsApp account if you want to strengthen protection. After you have been successful in registering your phone number with WhatsApp, you will be presented with the screen for the two-step verification process.
Your current WhatsApp account also has the capability to have its settings for two-step verification managed. You have the choice to turn this function on or off, alter the PIN, or amend the email address that is linked with the two-step verification.
To enable the use of a two-step verification process follow the steps below:
- Open WhatsApp Settings.
- Select Enable from the drop-down menu under Account > Two-Step Verification. Enter a PIN of your choosing that is six digits long, and then confirm it.
- If you do not wish to enter an email address, you may either provide one that you have access to or hit the Skip button. We strongly suggest that you add an email address to your account since doing so enables you to reset the two-step verification, which in turn helps to keep your account secure.
- To proceed, tap Next.
- Tap the Save or Done button after confirming the email address.
Avoid Spreading Information—you should never give out your financial information, passwords, or other sensitive details on Whatsapp or other messaging apps. If you need to give banking details to a family member or friend, do it in person or by talking on the phone so it is more difficult for scammers or hackers to intercept our personal details.
Finally, you should constantly be on the lookout for glaring red flags that indicate the individual could not be who they claim to be. Signs such as misspellings, odd language, or unexpected patterns in their communications, such as sending more messages than usual or using more emojis or GIFs than they normally would are all red flags.
This article should help you recognise and steer clear of WhatsApp hijack scams; if you want further information, check visit the WhatsApp Help Center.
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