Social media has become the breeding ground for upcoming scams. Since the users of social media are increasing day by day, it becomes easy for the attackers to find a target and leak their sensitive information and financial data.
Whatsapp is media used by people to send and receive messages instantly. Through Whatsapp we can also send messages to strangers if we have their mobile numbers. In this way a number of phishing scams are circulating in Whatsapp.
Here the hacker gains the mobile number of the target. He then sends a message with a description and a link attached to them. The description will be eye catchy and will look so legitimate that we will automatically click on the link. The link takes us to an infected website where the hidden malwares in the website attacks your device and uses them according to their wish.
By the end of March 2021, a fake free Jio recharge scam was spreading through social media. People received messages from strange numbers claiming to provide the users with free Jio recharge of RS.555.
Being a convenient messaging app, Whatsapp is being misused by the people to spread hacks and scams. The increasing number of scams threatens the privacy of the users as well as questions their security.
The scam went like this; Reliance Jio is offering Whatsapp users with a free recharge plan of Rs.555 as a token of gift to celebrate the birthday of Mukesh Ambani’s grandson. The message was attached to a link which claimed to direct you to the recharge page. They also attached the reviews of the users that their recharge was successful. The offer was valid only till March 30.
The police of Himachal Pradesh took this scam seriously and warned the public to stay away from them.
Since Whatsapp has around 2 billion users worldwide, it has become a home to such scams. Apart from these minor scams, some major scams are also being circulated in Whatsapp, where the hackers can find a way into your contact list and use them for various purposes.
Security warnings are issued to every users to be cautious about suspicious activities taking place in Whatsapp.
Here, the hacker takes down the account of a person. He then uses the contact of the user to send phishing messages. The hacker will send a message through your friend’s or family member’s account. When you receive a message from your friend, you will obviously open them and will respond to it. This time the message will not be in a friendly tone. They will send a description and a link and will ask you to enter into the link and verify your Whatsapp account. Once you feel trusted and enter your login credentials to verify, your account will be permanently compromised.
If you come across such situation, do not panic. Just inform the friend that his account is hacked and by changing the password and relogging into the account, he will be able to kick out the hacker.
Whatsapp hijack happens when hackers get hold of someone’s whatsapp account to spread malicious malware to all other contacts. Sometimes the fraudster may demand cash to avoid wrong happenings.
How does frausters do this?
- The scammer obtains the phone number of the first target.
- The threat actors install Whatsapp in his phone or from a new device.
- He contacts a new victim, impersonating as the first victim.
- The scammer says to the second one that he has unknowingly sent a verification code to his number.
- The hacker tricks him to get the code which he then uses to compromise the account of the second target. This chain is continued.
How to identify a hacker?
- He will always be in a rush.
- He never wants to make phone calls.
- Requests for payments.
- Forces you to open a link or attachment.
How to prevent Whatsapp fraud?
- When you receive a message from a friend asking for financial help, check the number. When you see a new number, it’s a fake.
- Analyse the language used and the tone of his words, if it’s new to you, it’s someone else using your friend’s account.
- While asking for money, try to call the person. If he is not picking up, it’s a fraud.
- If you feel anything wrong, just ask him a question which is only known to you and your friend.
- Never share OTP with anyone.
- Always activate 2-step verification method.