4 Brilliant ways to identify WhatsApp scams
With more than two billion users, Whats App is one of the planet’s most widely used instant messaging services. Given its favour, it’s not unexpected that some are trying to utilise it to steal your economic and private details.
Scammers that use the messaging app to contact users do so via texts or phone calls and frequently pose as trustworthy organisations. Sometimes, they’ll demand money while threatening to hurt a loved one. Because WhatsApp scams constantly switch, some of them can be challenging to recognize. However, a few techniques exist to spot the most typical warning signs.
The Best Way to Spot WhatsApp Scams:
Here are our top tips for identifying WhatsApp scams and guidance on what to do if you encounter such a message.
1. Messages that are regularly forwarded:
Most WhatsApp users know that the program allows you to transmit messages from one person directly to another recipient (for those who didn’t know, long-press a message and hit the bold choice on the pop-up menu that arises).
The fact that WhatsApp features a distinct signal for often forwarded messages may be less known to consumers. You will notice a double arrow icon rather than the single arrow that typically indicates a forwarded message when a message has been sent five times. The message has also been “forwarded several times,” it is noted in a bit of caution on the message box itself.
The difference is crucial: if a message has been forwarded more than five times, it almost invariably represents a scam, whether it’s a new boring meme going around, fake news, or something more serious.
2. Unknown Numbers:
You can message anyone whose phone number you have using WhatsApp. As a result, fraudsters can gather contact details from the web by scratching it, buy databases of operational phone numbers from the shady web, and even hack other sites that have your mobile number protected before sending you an unauthorised message.
Since it’s highly improbable that you’ll ever have a sender like that in your address book, it will always appear as an unknown number when it reaches your WhatsApp inbox.
Yes, now and then, you’ll receive a random WhatsApp message from an unknown number that turns out to be a friend who has changed their number, but most of the time, these messages will be spam.
One option to stop some people from sending unsolicited messages is to hide your WhatsApp status, albeit it is not a failsafe method. Whether or not your account is active won’t be known to the sender.
3. Login/Verification Requests:
You cannot use WhatsApp for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on any app or service we’re aware of. Of course, you should set up 2FA on all your accounts; it’s one of the best ways to ensure they’re secure even if someone has managed to get hold of your login credentials—but those 2FA notifications will never come on WhatsApp.
Ideally, you should use trustworthy 2FA applications/hardware like Google Authenticator, but at the very least, they’ll come through a direct SMS. So don’t worry if you receive such a message on WhatsApp and have not tried to log in anywhere recently, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean someone is endeavoring to hack your account. The message is a scam; you can safely skip and block it.
4. Certain language issues:
To trick you, Whatsapp scams frequently employ the same standard techniques. There are five traditional message language patterns that you should be aware of, per WhatsApp’s documentation:
- Errors in grammar or spelling.
- Requesting that you click a link or enable new features via a link.
- Requesting access to your private data, such as passwords, birthdates, and a credit card or bank account details.
- I need you to send this message.
- Stating that using WhatsApp requires payment.
Any message you get that fits one of the requirements needs to be deleted right away.
For as long as anybody can remember, the most straightforward WhatsApp scams have always been the most successful because they can go unnoticed and appeal to a broad audience.
Naturally, cybercrime also falls under this. Sometimes simple software is enough to take money from unwary victims. All you require is a little bit of traditional social engineering. It’s more potent than a digital tool because it can trick even tech-savvy individuals who are fully aware of the dangers of the internet.