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WhatsApp’s new feature aims to protect users from scammers and spammers | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

WhatsApp has also announced Privacy Checkup, a feature that runs through your privacy options within the app (Andrew Williams)

WhatsApp has been updated to help users avoid being distracted by spam callers.

The popular messaging and communication application has introduced a feature called Silence Unknown Callers, meaning people not in your contacts list who try to call you will not cause a ring or call notification.

While a history of the call will be in a log in the app, this should significantly reduce the likelihood of you enduring a WhatsApp scam.

Originally spotted in leaked screenshots in March, the feature was officially launched in the app today (June 20). It doesn’t require an app update either, as the Silence Unknown Callers feature has already appeared in our Android version on the app.

It effectively puts WhatsApp calls on the same level as messages from unknown contacts you might receive on Facebook Messenger or LinkedIn. You can see what happened, but these messages are not thrown in your face.

WhatsApp lets you make calls to anyone who has the app installed, as long as you have their number. As such, it might be compared to a standard phone call, but WhatsApp uses VoIP for such calls, meaning they take place over the internet rather than through the standard phone service.

How to improve WhatsApp privacy

WhatsApp has also announced Privacy Checkup, a feature that runs through your privacy options within the app. You’ll see this as a pop-up when you enter the Privacy section of the app’s Settings menu.

The most powerful of these, aside from the new Silence Unknown Callers option, is the block button. This stops certain numbers from contacting you, but is performed on a number-by-number basis.

Some of the most powerful scams on WhatsApp have nothing to do with calls, though. In March, Action Fraud highlighted a WhatsApp scam in which users’ accounts were being hijacked.

A message would appear claiming to be from a friend, whose account had already been hijacked, requesting a code sent to your phone.

This is the code used when attempting to switch your WhatsApp account to a different phone. Give the scammer that code, and they can take over your WhatsApp profile.

Action Fraud’s advice included saying “if a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person to confirm their identity”.


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National Cyber Security