Overseas Variant of Scams Involving Takeover of Whatsapp Accounts

ScamAlert Advisor | 29 May 2019

A new variant of scams involving the takeover of WhatsApp accounts which has been reported overseas.

In these cases, after taking over a victim’s WhatsApp account, scammers would post a fake screenshot of a WhatsApp account verification code in chat groups using the account, under the guise of alerting chat group members to Whatsapp account takeover scams. Concurrently, the scammer would use another device to attempt to log in to the WhatsApp accounts of the chat group members. As a result, these members would each receive WhatsApp verification codes on their own device.

The intent of the scammers is to lure these chat group members to post screenshots of their verification codes in the chat group to share that they are also experiencing the same situation. The scammers would then take over their WhatsApp accounts using the verification codes.

Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

  • Do not share your account verification codes with anyone
  • Beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by your WhatsApp contacts
  • Always call your friend to verify the authenticity of the request, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers
  • Protect your WhatsApp account by enabling the ‘Two-Step Verification’ feature, which is available under ‘Account’ in the ‘Settings’ tab of your WhatsApp application.  This will prevent others from compromising your WhatsApp account.

In the event that your WhatsApp account has been taken over by a scammer, you can recover the account by signing into your WhatsApp using your phone number and authenticate by entering the verification PIN which you will receive on your phone. The scammer which is using your account will automatically be logged out thereafter.

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