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WhatsApp Scams Unveiled: How to Protect Yourself from Digital Fraud

WhatsApp has become an integral part of our daily lives, connecting us with friends, family, and colleagues. However, as its popularity grows, so does the risk of falling victim to scams and fraudulent activities. We are seeing many cases these days where WhatsApp users are receiving messages/calls from an unknown number usually an international number with country codes +84 or +66 etc.,. These messages/calls lure the user to like certain videos and in turn the user gets a particular amount of money. However, you know what happens when you keep yourself engaged in talking with those numbers. Cyber police have warned people not to entertain them and block those numbers immediately and report them. In this blog post, we will explore various WhatsApp scams that target unsuspecting users and provide you with essential tips to safeguard yourself from falling prey to these digital fraudsters.

Phishing Scams:

Phishing scams on WhatsApp involve tricking users into revealing their personal information, such as login credentials, credit card details, or sensitive data. Scammers may pose as a trustworthy contact or send messages claiming to be from a reputable organization. They often use urgent or enticing language to persuade users to click on malicious links or provide sensitive information. To protect yourself, always be cautious of unsolicited messages, verify the identity of the sender before sharing any personal information, and refrain from clicking on suspicious links.

Fake Promotions, passive income and Giveaways:

WhatsApp is frequently used by scammers to promote fake giveaways, promise lucrative prizes or discounts in exchange for personal information, performing some task or payment. These scams often mimic well-known brands or popular events to appear legitimate. To avoid falling for these scams, be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true, verify the authenticity of the promotion through official channels, and never share personal information or make payments unless you are certain of the legitimacy of the offer.

Malware and Viruses:

Malicious software and viruses can be transmitted through WhatsApp, posing a significant threat to users' privacy and security. Scammers may send infected files or links that, when clicked, install malware or viruses on your device. To protect yourself, refrain from opening suspicious attachments or links, keep your device's security software up to date, and regularly scan for malware. "Never click on unknown links"

Impersonation Scams:

Impersonation scams involve scammers posing as someone you know, such as a friend or family member, to deceive you into providing money or sensitive information. They may create fake profiles using stolen pictures and personal details, making their messages appear genuine. To avoid falling for impersonation scams, double-check the identity of the sender by contacting them through a different channel or asking personal questions only the real person would know. Last year there were multiple cases filed with the police department stating someone has created a fake profile on Facebook and has taken money from their close friends. It is always advisable to update your privacy settings on all these social platforms. 

Video call scam:

This scam targets the user by blackmailing them. In this type of scam, the user will get video calls from an unknown number and most of the accounts will have pictures of some very good-looking people. As soon as the user picks up the call, the other party will start playing vulgar videos, often related to sex and the scammer will start screen recording. This gives the impression that the user is watching compromising material. The scammer then blackmails the user for money and threatens to share the video online and with their known contacts if they don't pay the ransom.

Protecting Yourself from WhatsApp Scams:

a. Enable two-step verification: Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp account, requiring a PIN code to access your account.

b. Be cautious of unknown contacts: Avoid accepting friend requests or engaging in conversations with unfamiliar contacts, especially if they approach you with suspicious requests or offers.

c. Verify information independently: Independently verify any information, offers, or promotions you receive on WhatsApp through official websites or trusted sources.

d. Educate yourself about scams: Stay updated on the latest WhatsApp scams and fraud techniques to recognize and avoid them effectively.

e. Report suspicious activity: If you encounter any suspicious messages or activity on WhatsApp, report it to WhatsApp and delete the message or block the contact.

Conclusion:

WhatsApp scams are increasingly prevalent, targeting unsuspecting users with various fraudulent techniques. By staying informed about these scams and adopting proactive measures, you can protect yourself from falling victim to digital fraud. Be cautious of phishing attempts, fake promotions, malware, and impersonation scams, and always prioritize your privacy and security. By following the tips provided in this blog post, you can enjoy the benefits of WhatsApp while minimizing the risks associated with scams and digital fraud.

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  1. Even Wilder World of WhatsApp
    Posted by Natalie Silvanovich

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