The goal of this scam is precisely to obtain user accounts, circumventing them with hypothetical security problems. If this scam may seem a little too complex, it really isn’t. The testimony comes directly from WaBetaInfo’s Twitter account which published the story of a Paraguayan boy who received a message from a person who pretended to be from the technical support of WhatsApp.
The text of the message is quite articulated: it refers to an attempt to gain unauthorized access to the user’s account and the need to immediately share the verification code which would soon be sent to him via SMS. In this way, the message concludes, the WhatsApp staff would have had the certainty that no one had come into possession of the account. But it’s actually all a scam.
WhatsApp, the verification code scam: how it works
The scam attempt shown by WaBetaInfo is not an isolated case. In the previous months there have been similar cases, also in Italy, as evidenced by the message published on your Facebook account by the State Police.
The technique used by scammers is always the same: approaching a potential victim with a message on WhatsApp, trying to convince her to share the security code. If you fall into the trap, in a few minutes you will find out of the WhatsApp account.
The techniques used for get the verification code they are the most varied, but they all start from the study of the victim using techniques social engineering. To have a better chance that the scam will go through, the attackers carefully study the victim’s online behavior and only when they are sure they contact him. At that point, it is up to the user to be able to understand that it is a dangerous message and immediately block the contact.
It may happen, as happened in Paraguay, that scammers pretend to be WhatsApp technicians. An escamotage that makes the scam even more credible.
WhatsApp, the verification code scam: how to defend yourself
This type of scam is very dangerous and it reaps victims all over the world. For this reason, you have to be clever and understand immediately when you receive a somewhat strange message. Here are some tips for defend yourself from the security code scam:
- Always be wary of messages received on WhatsApp from numbers that you do not have in your address book. Check the profile picture and if particular codes or things are required, call for a voice confirmation.
- Be wary of contacts who pretend to be WhatsApp technicians. The application hardly sends messages and when it does it does so through its official account.
- Never share personal information through a WhatsApp chat with people who don’t know each other.
- Block the number and report it directly to WhatsApp, so that it is banned.