Types of WhatsApp scams
Many WhatsApp scammers will have similar goals and motivations. Scammers will try to get your personal information for identity fraud purposes, install malware that could hold your device hostage, or simply try to extort your money by pretending to be someone they’re not. These are the top WhatsApp scams you should be aware of.
Impersonation/the mom and dad scam
This is the easiest and most popular scam to commit. It involves someone pretending that they are a relative. The scammer usually pretends to be the victim’s child and claims that their phone has been damaged. They also claim that they are messaging from a friend’s or replacement phone.
The new device means that the “son/daughter”, who is now unable to access any mobile banking apps, desperately needs funds to pay an incoming bill or other financial charges. This scam is common because it mimics a common issue between parents and their children.
Also read: What are Advanced Persistent Threats and How to Prevent Them
The victim will receive two messages quickly in succession to confirm the scam. One of the messages is an apology by an alleged friend/family member who has accidentally made a mistake. Verification number sent to victim’s account rather than their own. They will continue to inquire about the 6-digit number that the victim has just received.
WhatsApp will not send a verification code to someone unless they are logged in. If someone is creating a new account, or trying to log into their account from an unfamiliar device. This is where the scammer tries to log into the victim’s account. They need the verification code in order to complete their deceit. You might be the victim of a scam if you get a 6-digit verification number out of the blue.
Dating app cryptocurrency scam
As long as someone is looking online for love, WhatsApp Dating scams are designed to exploit loneliness. Dating apps are the best way to start this scam. Once a relationship has been established, scammers will encourage victims to increase their connection via messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.
Soon after moving to WhatsApp, the scammer starts to talk about cryptocurrency. He or she will also mention how a relative or friend they have met with a new lucrative opportunity. All it takes to get in is a small cash deposit at a cryptocurrency trading website. Once the money has been exchanged, the romantically interested partner will suddenly block the victim and become impossible to reach.
Why do scammers use WhatsApp scams?
Scammers are opportunists. They will try to catch as many people as possible. You can take advantage of this fact to your advantage.WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in the world, and it can reach far more victims using it than any other tool.
It’s possible that scammers’ victims will use WhatsApp. It makes it easier for criminals to manage their crimes if all victims can be found on the same app.
How to protect yourself from WhatsApp scammers
Knowledge is power, as with many online scams. Be aware of the most common frauds. You’re already on the right track. It will be difficult to trick you once you recognize the signs of a scam. These are ways to protect yourself against falling for a WhatsApp scam.
- Do not respond to messages asking for money. This is a tip that applies to all scams, and not just WhatsApp scams. Listen to your gut instincts and examine the language and texts used. Are they talking in a different way from what they usually do? If they are legitimately asking for money, they will likely reach out to you via other channels than WhatsApp.
- Enable two-factor authentication. This security measure can be used to make it harder for hackers and scammers to steal your WhatsApp ID.
- Time-limit messages. Scammers want your money as quickly as possible. The more urgent the request and message, the more likely it will be a scam.
- Ask the scammer. If you are unsure if the sender is genuine, ask them a sensitive or personal question that only the real person would answer. Scammers are capable of conducting extensive research. It is possible that asking for their middle names might not suffice.
Also read: How to Protect Yourself Against Ransomware
What to do if WhatsApp scams you
You’re now a victim of WhatsApp scams. It can happen, but it doesn’t have to you need to delete your WhatsApp and restart it. It’s a good thing to be bitten twice. It won’t happen again now that you know what to watch out for.
Next, you need to change all your passwords and strengthen your cybersecurity. Invest in a password management system take advantage of two-factor authentication and use VPN to protect your online privacy.
How to report a WhatsApp scam
You won’t likely be able to get your money back if you fall for a WhatsApp scam. However, you can report it so that others don’t fall for the scam. The process for Android and iPhone is very similar. Here are the steps:
- Go to the WhatsApp “Settings” section.
- Look for the “Help” section.
- Next, click on the “Contact Us” option.
- You should now be able to submit a report about the scam.
It is never easy to get scammed. You can stay one step ahead of criminals if you have a regular cybersecurity routine.