With two billion users, whatsapp is a prime target for fraudsters to spread their scams. But it is also a great tool to help prevent them by recognizing the different types of scams.
Scammers use various ploys to trick unsuspecting WhatsApp users into handing over their personal details, including the login information of other online accounts. This can be used for identity theft or to gain access to a user’s bank account and steal their money. In many cases, the fraudsters will impersonate a service or a friend, making it difficult to tell whether the message is legitimate. Often, the scam messages will request verification codes via WhatsApp, or ask for money to pay an urgent bill or financial charge.
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A common WhatsApp scam is for malicious actors to pretend to be the victim’s closest family members. This can include their children, who might say that they’ve changed their phone number and need the victim to forward calls to them. In some cases, the scammers may claim that a computer virus has hit their online bank account and need them to share their password with them.
It’s important to never share your personal information on messaging apps, and not click on random links or download files from strangers. Always keep your phone operating system and app updates up to date, and make sure that you know the person who sent you a link or file before opening it. It’s also a good idea to have other means of contacting friends and relatives, in case they do not answer your messages.