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Revealed: The latest scams circulating on WhatsApp | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

From fake job opportunities to dodgy cryptocurrency schemes, fraudsters are using WhatsApp to coax victims into handing over their money and personal details.

The messaging application is used by tens of millions of people in the UK alone, and scammers are always looking for ways to exploit its popularity. We’ve previously reported on giveaway and recruitment scams targeting WhatsApp users.

Read on to learn more about the latest round of WhatsApp scams.

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1. Fake job opportunities

Two fake job offer messages are currently circulating on WhatsApp. The first promises an hourly salary of up to $120 in a ‘UK location’, which should already set alarm bells ringing.

If you reply to the message, the scammer will send you more information about the ‘job’ before asking you to pay money for things like security checks or work equipment. This is called advanced fee fraud.

Scammers may also use fake job ads for money laundering purposes, or to obtain your bank details or identity documents such as passports.

Scammers are also sending messages impersonating Fastnet (a legitimate Northern Irish recruitment company) to scam users with fake job opportunities. Which? contacted Fastnet and it confirmed that the below message isn’t genuine.

2. ‘Wrong number’ messages

Scammers are looking to trick victims with ‘wrong number’ messages. These messages claim to be from a contact telling you that they’ve changed their phone number. When you tell them you don’t know who they are, they claim they have messaged the wrong number.

They then continue the conversation and try to convince you to sign up for bogus cryptocurrency investment schemes or groom you into falling for a romance scam.

3. Dodgy cryptocurrency investments

Finally, scammers use WhatsApp to invite you to groups where a fake ‘analyst’ or ‘expert’ will talk about the advantages of investing in cryptocurrency. 

‘Members’ of these groups are typically bots, rather than real people, that are used to verify the fake analyst’s claims.

Why do scammers use WhatsApp?

WhatsApp offers an easy and free way of messaging friends and family, but scammers are looking to exploit its features for their own gains.

WhatsApp allows users to contact anyone across the globe instantly via message, call or video chat. This enables fraudsters to target people in countries they don’t live in. WhatsApp’s multimedia functions also enable fraudsters to include images, videos and documents to convince you that a scam is real.

A spokesperson from WhatsApp told Which?: ‘WhatsApp protects your personal messages with end-to-end encryption, but we can all play a role in keeping our accounts safe by remaining vigilant to the threat of scammers.

‘If you receive a suspicious message (even if you think you know who it’s from), calling or requesting a voice note is the fastest and simplest way to check someone is who they say they are. If you get a message from someone who isn’t in your contacts, we give you the option to block or report them straight away.’

How to avoid and report WhatsApp scams

If you receive an unexpected WhatsApp message, treat it with caution. It’s also important to remember that professional recruiters and brands are unlikely to contact potential employees on WhatsApp without any notice.

Never click on any links in unsolicited WhatsApp messages. You can report the message by selecting it in your conversation list and tapping ‘report’. To report the sender on WhatsApp, open up the chat, tap on the sender’s contact details and select ‘Block and Report’.


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National Cyber Security