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Watch out for this WhatsApp Scam which has already claimed more than 250 victims | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images

A spokesperson said large community and religious groups are being targeted by the scam, which often begins when a member receives a WhatsApp audio call from the scammer, under the pretence of being a member. This is done in order to earn the victim’s trust, and the scammer will often use a fake name or profile picture to pass as a real member of the group.

This done, the fraudster will then call the victim, claiming to send them a one-use passcode which will give them access to an upcoming video call for group members. After this, they ask the victim to share a passcode with them so that they can be ‘registered’ for the call.

Of course, this is all a false premise, and the scammer is actually asking for a code to register their victim’s account to their own device, giving them access to their contacts and messages. This done, the scammer can enable two step verification and prevent the victim from accessing their account. From there, the scammer will message the victim’s family and friends, posing as the victim themselves, and claim to be in urgent need of money.

Oliver Shaw, Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) said:

“WhatsApp continues to be a popular platform for community and religious groups, but sadly also for fraudsters. Here, the scammers rely on the goodwill of group members and their intrinsic desire to help others in distress.

“We urge people always to be wary when receiving contact via WhatsApp or other messaging platforms. This is particularly the case when being asked to provide account information – despite the fact that you may recognise the individual’s profile picture and / or name.

“Never share your account information with anyone, and if you think it’s a fraudulent approach, report the message and block the sender within WhatsApp. To make your account more secure, we advise setting up two-step verification to provide an extra layer of protection. This makes it increasingly more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to somebody else’s WhatsApp account”.


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National Cyber Security