Scammers are continuing to target WhatsApp users and hijack their accounts by impersonating as friends and asking for SMS security codes.
The scam has been around for years, yet victims have continued to fall for it, with many sharing their stories on social media.
Users should never give out their security codes to anyone, even if they appear to be a friend, according to WhatsApp.
A report by BBC, sharing one victim’s story, expressed his embarrassment after falling for the “simple” con.
If you receive an SMS text message with a six-digit WhatsApp code that you did not expect, you may be a victim of the scam.
This code is typically required when creating a new account or logging in to an existing account on a new device.
If you haven’t initiated the request, it could be a scammer attempting to access your account.
The scammer then sends you a WhatsApp message requesting the six-digit code.
In reality, that account (your contact’s) has already been hijacked, the message from your friend’s account seems to be legitimate.
One victim, Charlie, told the BBC, “I got a WhatsApp message from my good friend Michelle, saying she was locked out of her account.”
“She said she accidentally sent the access code to my phone instead of hers, and could I just screenshot it and send it over”, Charlie further added.
In fact, Charlie had given the scammer the pin code to his own account.
Charlie stated that he had deleted WhatsApp and would no longer use it.
The hijacker can pretend to be you and send messages to your friends and family using a stolen account.
They might act as if you’re facing a financial emergency and beg your contacts for money.
It also provides them with the phone numbers of your contacts, allowing them to try the six-digit code trick on fresh victims.
By gaining access to your account, the fraudster will be able to see sensitive information in your group chats.
How to keep your WhatsApp account safe?
- Never give out your password or SMS security code to anybody, even friends and family.
- Enable two-step verification for added security.
- If you receive a message asking for money, be cautious.
- If you’re unsure, check with a friend or family member.
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