Lest you’re not aware, it’s relatively easy to take over your WhatsApp account.
You see, when you change number or phone, you’d need to use a six-digit account verification code from your previous existing WhatsApp account to transfer the account to the new phone.
If you somehow disclose that code to someone else, that “someone” could take over your WhatsApp account since WhatsApp would think that you’ve changed phone.
It doesn’t help that more young adults are not using WhatsApp as their main communication tool while the older adults think everyone uses WhatsApp.
Which leads to the next point:
Scammers Are Taking Over Your Contacts’ WhatApp Account to Send You Malicious Links
Imagine your friend, Eric, sending David this message:
“Hey, David, I’ve sent you a 6-digit code by accident. Can you pass me the code? It’s urgent.”
When David receive an SMS, he then sent the code to Eric, and ta-da: David’s WhatsApp account is taken over by Eric…who isn’t Eric, but someone else who has taken over Eric’s account.
And then, David messaged you on WhatsApp.
He could have sent you a link to check out an image, or simply ask for personal details.
Because David is your bruh from the army, you trust him and click on a link, only to realise three hours later that you’ve unknowingly transferred $500 to someone whom you didn’t know.
This might sound like a scene from Crimewatch, but we all know that Crimewatch is inspired by real-life accounts.
The police has just issued an advisory today (7 March) about recent banking-related phishing cases involving WhatsApp accounts that had been compromised—like what happened between Eric, David and you.
The police advised people to stay vigilant by not sharing their WhatsApp account verification codes, personal information, banking details and OTPs with anyone.
To protect yourself against this scam, enable the two-step verification feature to create a six-digit PIN code that must be entered to access the account, so people cannot anyhowly request the pin. Also, you can set an associated e-mail address that allows the user to reset the PIN to safeguard the account and lock the scammer out if the account gets compromised.
Those with information related to such scams are advised to call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or submit it online.
To know more about scams in Singapore, watch these videos we’ve done in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force:
Featured Image: Singapore Police Force