WhatsApp is, without a doubt, one of the most widely used apps for people in India and some other regions across the world. However, due to its popularity, the frequency of scams and malicious entities trying to harm users has increased.
Scammers are employing novel tactics to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing sensitive information, enabling call forwarding, or even inadvertently giving the attackers access to their WhatsApp accounts.
Here, let’s delve into identifying WhatsApp scams and explore some of the currently prevalent scams
Received a Lucrative Job Offer or Something That Seems Too Good to Be True?
This is a common method that cybercriminals are using nowadays to trick victims. They offer victims lucrative offers, sometimes even giving them some money to establish trust. Later, once the victim is engulfed in the trap with a significant investment, the scammers disappear—taking off with the money or sensitive information. As a general rule of thumb, never entertain such offers on WhatsApp. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Giveaway Links – Railway, Government Yojana
Have you ever received a WhatsApp forward promising a new iPhone 15 if you share the message with 5 people, along with their email IDs? This is another common method used to steal email IDs and passwords, so never trust these giveaways and other links that ask for your personal data.
Received a Suspicious App to Download? A Bank APK, Perhaps?
Scammers are using advanced methods where they modify bank application APKs, infecting them with their malicious code and then sending these infected apps to victims. Often, scammers pose as banking agents, contacting you through fake phishing websites and asking you to install an app for support. People often install these apps without a second thought and enter their sensitive banking information. Never do this, as it’s a scam, and the same technique has been used with other types of scams as well.
Calls from International Numbers
Lately, there has also been an influx of calls originating from overseas. If you receive such calls, never answer them; instead, report and block them the moment you receive one. WhatsApp has also taken steps to curb these calls but if get one, be sure to turn it down, and not respond.
Avoid Clicking on Random Links
It is a common practice for hackers and cybercriminals to send infected links to users. Once the user clicks on the link, it usually takes them to a phishing website—or even directly infects their device with malware or other hacking agents. Therefore, if a random number texts you with a link, or tries to create a sense of urgency into doing something, be aware that they might be trying to scam you.
To stay safe from such scams, you can enable safety features like two-factor authentication for WhatsApp and avoid clicking on links or sharing your personal documents and information with random people who contact you.