Whatsapp scams continue to be a problem. Although the years have made social users more aware – also due to bad experiences with phishing via email – hackers continue to change their strategy by finding new ways to try to catch us out and share personal data or even the account . Compared to the times when we had to worry about chain letters and scam messages shared a bit by everyone, now the problem is real intrusions into your profile in an attempt to blackmail you and force you to pay a ransom. For this reason we have collected the 5 most common scams within the messaging app to help you identify them and avoid running into unnecessary risks.
Watch out for links on the most popular brands
It happened with Ikea , Ray-Ban, Gucci and many other brands: the classic message-bait that tries to make you click on a malicious link to be able to sneak inside your phone. Delete all messages that ask you to participate in a survey, that promise unmissable discounts or that allow you to receive incredible gifts directly at home. And if you know the person who sent them to you, contact them outside of Whatsapp to notify them that their account has been hacked.
The clone app to trick iOS users
The latest scam circulating for iPhone asks you to install Whatsapp outside the App Store, promising you a thousand more features and a series of additional tools that do not exist in reality. In reality, instead of Whatsapp you install a virus that can damage your phone and steal your personal data, including your credit card information.
Whatsapp for a fee
The most classic of the scams that has been circulating within the application for years. Whatsapp will return to payment and to prevent the application from charging you 1 cent for each message or 1 euro of monthly subscription, you should share the text with at least 20 contacts, in order to verify that the account is valid and active; or worse, click on a link to certify that the account is active . All these messages are hoaxes and if the first is essentially harmless because it asks you to run the message, the second aims to install a virus on your phone to steal your personal data and credit card numbers. Let’s reiterate it once again : Whatsapp became free in 2016 and has no intention of returning for a fee.
Imagine this scene : a text message arrives on your smartphone with a security code and, at the same time, your best friend writes to you on WhatsApp that he has done the wrong procedure to subscribe to a new service and needs you to forward the combination to him. Clearly you know this is strange and you should investigate more, but, if you are lost in thought and you trust that person, you turn it to them without batting an eye. Well, if you really did it, after a few seconds you would find yourself kicked out of your WhatsApp account without having access to chats and contacts. Those 6 numbers were actually the security code that the hacker needed to associate your phone number with another phone and restart spam with your contacts.
The trap is just that: first the cybercriminal hits a friend or relative and then tries to repeat the same scam with all the contacts he can find. And then, returning to our previous scenario, impersonate a user of your circle of contacts by leveraging the surprise effect to make you fall into the scam. Always avoid sending this type of information.
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Another of the most common scams involves voice calls from the fake call center , which are especially common in the US and UK. The technique is this: the criminals find out your credit card number, send you a fake email in which they notify you that an attempt has been made to access online banking and then call you pretending to be bank operators who need the your PIN to block bogus charges. This dated scam is beginning to take hold on Whatsapp trying to leverage the Business version and the closer relationship that is being created between users and companies within the application. But it is quite obvious to point out that the bank, if it needs to talk to you,he wouldn’t call you on Whatsapp and he wouldn’t ask you for personal information on the phone . If in doubt, refuse the request and go to the counter of your credit institution to resolve the matter in person.