WhatsApp Scammers Take Over Accounts & Ask Victims’ Friends For Personal Info

Much of our daily communications with friends and family is now over messaging apps like WhatsApp.

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Unfortunately, scammers have also found a way to exploit this as they use the app to phish for personal information like one-time passwords (OTP) and banking credentials.

The police is now urging the public to be vigilant when divulging information on WhatsApp, even if they are from familiar contacts.

WhatsApp scammers trick victims into revealing personal information

Recently, scammers have been taking over people’s WhatsApp accounts, reported The Straits Times (ST).

This is done by asking victims for a 6-digit verification code or through voicemail accounts using a default telco PIN.

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Using these hacked accounts, scammers subsequently trick the victim’s friends into revealing personal information by messaging them or sending fake links that ask for bank credentials and OTPs.

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WhatsApp verification codes should not be shared

These scams are hard to detect and many only realise that they have fallen prey when they find unauthorised transactions from their bank accounts.

According to ST, the police is now advising the public to stay vigilant on WhatsApp.

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They warn that information such as WhatsApp account verification codes, personal information, banking details and OTPs should not be shared with anyone.

Enable 2-step verification feature on WhatsApp

In addition, WhatsApp users can also shield themselves from such scams by enabling the 2-step verification feature on the app.

This would ensure that a 6-digit pin must be entered before access to an account is granted, reported ST.

By connecting an e-mail address to WhatsApp, users will also be able to reset the PIN and protect their account if their accounts are compromised by scammers.

The police also urge the public to change their voicemail’s default PIN.

Alternatively, they can deactivate their voicemail through their telco.

Be vigilant of such scams

It’s easy to fall prey to such scams, especially because we tend to let our guard down when chatting with ‘friends’.

But as these scams become more prevalent, it is important for us to be extra careful when it comes to revealing personal information online.

For more information on how to detect WhatsApp scams and safeguard your account, you can refer here.

You can also report such scams here or by contacting the police at 1800-255-0000.

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Featured image adapted from PC Mag and Singapore Police Force.