WhatsApp is a place for billions of people to connect with their loved ones and, oftentimes, get scammed by the notorious elements of society.
WhatsApp has nearly 2.7 Billion monthly active users. This makes it one of the largest social platforms where people connect with their loved ones, friends, and business colleagues. While the public loves WhatsApp, scammers love it too. The platform is witnessing a sharp rise in the number of scams and the variety in which they are conducted.
Despite these scams being quite convincing and effective, users can stay safe from them through avid awareness and common sense. Let’s first see the latest scams actively happening on WhatsApp to understand them clearly.
Men tend to attend unknown calls more than women, and that’s why this scam is quite popular among men. In this scam, people receive a video call from a good-looking woman. If they receive it, the women quickly start sweet-talking to them and begin undressing. While this is the cue to cut the call, many men wait to see what’s next. What’s next is the screenshot of the woman in nude form and your face, all authentically conducted on the platform. Now, the woman will share the screenshot with you while asking for a ransom to keep the explicit interaction hidden from the world, friends, office colleagues, and, most importantly, their family.
These kinds of calls come from unknown numbers only. To stay safe, first, do not receive calls from unknown women or men. If you do receive it, do not let your face come in front of the camera or simply cover the lens before you ensure that the person calling is known.
Though everyone knows that winning a grand prize of $100,000 is not common, people face difficulty resisting the urge to check the link out. The first sign of such scams is ‘Forwarded many times,’ which most ignore. The second sign is that they ask the user to send it to 5 friends to activate the prize. While doing this does not affect the user, it is an effective tool to propagate the scam to more people, and not everyone will have the intelligence to prevent it.
These scams often ask for personal and banking information to send the prize money. This is a strong cue to close the link and block the user who sent it. The numbers these messages come from will obviously look suspicious and are usually international. If you remember your country code, stay away from the numbers with other country codes unless they belong to a known person.
This is one of the most common ways to scam elderly parents who lack technology education and awareness. The scammer texts them on their WhatsApp impersonating their children with a message that usually says that their phone is broken and they cannot access their banking accounts. Then they ask for banking details or payment to a friend’s account to get themselves sorted. These scammers are so efficient that they can even get deeper details about the children like name, college, close friends, and others, which make convincing even stronger.
Most of the parents fall prey to this, out of care for their child, but you can stay away from them. Whenever you get a text with the above mentioned conditions, simply call your original child’s number. That will get most of the confusion sorted. If they are not available, just call the number you get the text from. You remember your child’s voice, and can ask a question about something only you share the memory of.
There are not many on the App store, but some Android apps do have the potential to compromise your WhatsApp account. Either as fake WhatsApp compatible apps like GIF makers, or unofficial WhatsApp version, these apps get into your system and with each permission, collect your personal data to sell to others. These apps also access saved contacts and automatically send download links to the app or ones that contain malware.
The easiest way to stay safe from these scams is to not download such apps. You may not necessarily need a list of apps you should not download. Just remember the official apps that WhatsApp offers either by visiting the official website or checking the maker of the app on the App or Play store.
WhatsApp uses its official chat window, which usually does not require you to save it as a contact, to send official communication rearidng anything. But the scammers know that people don’t really know how WhatsApp connects with its users officially. So they impersonate the support team with often an urgent situation like verification, expiry of KYC, or closing of account, unless you take immediate action.
WhatsApp support team never calls or texts you from any number. Whenever you get a text, or story from WhatsApp, it will always have WhatsApp written on it without you saving the number. There, infact, is no number associated with the official WhatsApp window.
Some common ways to secure your WhatsApp account are:
With a mixture of literature, cinema, and photography, Manish is mostly traveling. When he is not, he is probably writing another tech news for you!
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