WhatsApp is an immensely popular platform with more than 2 billion users. It’s not only users who use this app to stay connected. A large number of scammers are frequenting it to cheat people.WhatsApp scams, instances of identity theft, and voicemail hacking are all on the rise.
What are WhatsApp Scams?
WhatsApp scams are similar to other cyber frauds. Users unwittingly share confidential information through a complex process. Scammers want to steal personal information in order to impersonate users and gain access to their money. WhatsApp has over a billion users today the platform becomes all the more attractive to these scam artists.
They may also use spyware to take complete control of the phone. This is done by using a fake WhatsApp verification Code that can be difficult to trace back.
WhatsApp scams have increased by 2,000% in the past year. Experts are warning WhatsApp to improve its security and take appropriate steps to protect users’ data.
Types of Scams That Can Be Run on the App
This is a major problem with WhatsApp scams. There are many types of fraud that must be dealt with to solve the problem. Many WhatsApp scams have been common in recent years. It’s sophisticated. From hackers stealing bank account information to criminals pretending to be family members asking users to transfer funds, it’s all become quite common.
Also read: How To Know Your Phone Is Hacked?
Let’s look at the most popular WhatsApp scams.
1. Whatsapp Business Account Frauds
Scammers have created fake business accounts in several cases to defraud victims. These accounts look very similar to verified business accounts making it difficult for users to spot them. You, as a business owner should be vigilant about scammers trying to impersonate your business. A grey question mark on a business account denotes that it has not been verified by WhatsApp.
2. Whatsapp Wrong Number Scams
WhatsApp scammers use technology to defraud people. For example, the “wrong number” scam. Scammers use automated chatbots to reach potential victims and engage them in conversation in order to rip them off. It’s quite simple. The scammer will reach out to a potential victim and assume it’s a random number. Once the conversation is started, the scammer will use a sophisticated strategy to gain access to personal information.
3. Verification Trick
Another common method of hacking into WhatsApp accounts is the verification scam. Two messages are sent almost simultaneously to the victim. The victim receives one message, which is usually an apology from a family member or friend who claims they sent the verification code accidentally to their account. The hacker then requests the code. The hacker then takes full control of the victim’s WhatsApp account after the code has been shared.
4. The Mom & Dad Scam: Impersonation
Impersonating a friend, relative or family member is the easiest way to con people. For years, the Mom and Dad scam is still in use. The scammer pretending that he is a relative defrauds the victim. It has now made its way to WhatsApp. The victim is then sent a message by a family member claiming that they have lost their phone. The scammer then requests the victim to share their bank account details.
5. WhatsApp Hijacking
Cyber-hijackers can gain complete access to the phones of their victims. Sometimes, they do it so well that the victim may not realize what happened for several hours or even days. They convince victims to install spyware, which reveals private information like usernames and passwords.
6. Voicemail Hacking
Voicemail hacking is another common scam. This allows scammers to access victims’ voicemails and gain access to their WhatsApp. Scammers use WhatsApp to download WhatsApp and claim that they have never received a verification code by phone. They are aware WhatsApp calls users when they choose this option. To change the pin and gain access, they hack the voicemail.
7. Compromised App
Numerous reports in recent years have suggested that malware may be hiding in WhatsApp. Users receive spam messages and links to suspicious pages after downloading compromised apps.
8. Malicious Links
Scammers send victims external links to gain access to their accounts. This is a simple trick that has been used for years. Scammers promise quick rewards to victims who click on the links. After clicking the links, users are taken to another site and asked for personal information to claim a prize. This information is often used by scammers to defraud victims or to sell it to others.
9. Whatsapp Cryptocurrency Scam
Scammers are known for ripping off victims by telling them about lucrative schemes. Scammers usually first make friends with victims. After they have established a rapport with the victim, they will tell them about a cryptocurrency scheme. If they succeed in trapping the victim they will ask them for money to be transferred to a cryptocurrency trading website. The victim will not be able to see their money again after that.
10. Complete the Survey
Many users find it tempting to sign up for an online survey that promises rewards. Many scammers have begun sending spyware links to unsuspecting victims in the disguise of surveys. These straightforward-looking surveys get victims to share confidential information that is then used to impersonate them.
How WhatsApp Users Can Protect Themselves from Scams
WhatsApp scams are on the rise, but not all is lost for users. It is possible to protect your account data and data by understanding the psychology of WhatsApp scammers. What they are really after is your information, So make sure that your account information is not easily accessible, Any suspicious or unidentified messages you receive make sure you block the contact. Do not click on links that look like they were sent to you by someone you know. Do not rush to make contact with unknown contacts, even if they sound familiar.
Tips to spot a Whatsapp Scam Message
These are some tips to help you spot a WhatsApp scam message.
- Verify the tone of the message: One simple way to determine if a message is legitimate is to
- Verify the method of communication: Scammers will try to induce urgency in order to get the victim to act quickly.
- Messages sent from an unknown number: If the scammer has not taken over an account, messages will be sent from unknown numbers.
Urgent Payment: Scammers often ask for money immediately via sites like PayPal, which don’t require bank details.
- Grammatical errors: Most scammers send messages that contain spelling errors.
There is no option to call back: Another characteristic is that the unknown number that contacts you is usually inaccessible. This means that you won’t be able to call back.
Also read: What is Business Fraud and How to Prevent It
How to Stop and Avoid Whatsapp Scams
These hackers are constantly targeting other users, making it a serious concern that they could be a victim. It is possible to prevent WhatsApp scams. These are ways to avoid WhatsApp scams.
- Enable two-factor authentication: This gives your account additional security and makes it more difficult for scammers to target it.
- Pin your voicemail: This will stop the scammer from accessing your voicemail for WhatsApp verification codes.
- Discuss with your family and friends: You should always confirm any calls or messages from family members asking you for money.
- Do not click on links: No matter how appealing the language, you should never click on any external links.
- Examine the message language: When you get a message from someone, either a friend or an unknown number send it to us. Is your friend really able to write like this? Are there spelling mistakes?
Reporting Whatsapp Scams Messages
WhatsApp can be contacted if you suspect a suspicious message.
Open WhatsApp on your Android phone. Click on More Options. Go to Settings – Help – Contact Us and report the message.
Open WhatsApp on iOS and click Settings – Help Contact Us.
If You’ve Been Scammed, Close Your Whatsapp Account
To avoid being scammed again, close your account if you are a victim of a scam. First, it is important to find out what made you vulnerable.
Why are You Getting Random Whatsapp Messages?
Everybody receives random messages via social media. It’s not something out of the ordinary. You might receive spam that looks different from scam messages in most cases.
Why Do Catfish Use WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is a popular platform for catfishing because it’s widely used by billions around the globe. Scammers are more likely to trap an unwitting victim because of its simplicity.
How to Control Who You Send WhatsApp Messages To?
You can limit who can contact you via WhatsApp. You can do this by going to WhatsApp settings, Privacy, and choosing “My contacts” or “None”. This will stop unknown contacts from reaching you.