Whatsapp users have issued an urgent warning about a scam message they need to delete
WhatsApp users are urged to report and then delete messages from unknown accounts posing as support services for the messaging platform.
The messages are sent by accounts featuring a profile picture containing a verified badge, according to the WABetaInfo website.
Users are advised to block and report the contact in the chat feature of the app.
The messages reportedly seek private information such as credit card details, with a warning that failure to provide them could result in the WhatsApp account being terminated.
In some cases, users are asked to provide a 6-digit code that would give them access to their WhatsApp account, WABetaInfo said.
Genuine WhatsApp support services do not ask for credit card details or 6-digit passcode or two-step verification PIN.
“If someone wants to get this information, it means it’s a fake account trying to scam you,” WABetaInfo said.
“In this case, simply block and report the fake contact directly in their chat information: the last 5 messages of this chat will be shared with the official WhatsApp moderation team so that they can understand the context of the conversation and that they can suspend the account.
Note that this is not limited to WhatsApp: fake accounts can impersonate anyone, even your friends and family, so be careful when unknown contacts pretend to be someone you may know. .”
Earlier this year, users were tipped off about a Whatsapp scam where fraudsters tricked people into sending them money pretending to be friends and family in financial difficulty.
The so-called “Dear Mom” scam involves fraudsters posing as people’s children by claiming that they have lost or damaged their phone and need to contact their parents from a different number.
The scammers then ask their parents to lend them money for a new phone or to cover their bills.
According to Barclays, scam reports had quadrupled in the last three months of 2021, compared to the previous quarter.
The latest data from UK Finance shows that losses from scams where victims were coerced into sending their money hit a record £355.3million in the first six months of 2021. This represents a 71% increase compared to 2020.
Around £150.7million was returned to the victims.
Kathryn Harnett, Head of Policy at WhatsApp, said: “WhatsApp protects our users’ personal messages with end-to-end encryption, but we want to remind people that we all have a role to play in keeping our accounts secure. while remaining vigilant to the threat of scammers.
“We advise all users never to share their six-digit PIN with others, not even friends or family, and recommend that all users set up two-step verification for added security.
“And if you receive a suspicious message (even if you think you know who it’s from), calling or requesting a voice note is the quickest and easiest way to verify that someone is who they say they are.” A friend in need is a friend worth calling.