WhatsApp scam exposed: How scammers dupe users, steal their money [safety tips]

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WhatsApp scam exposed: How scammers dupe users, steal their money [safety tips]
WhatsApp scam exposed: How scammers dupe users, steal their money [safety tips]


WhatsApp is the go-to communication app these days, which puts a target on its back as hackers and scammers are constantly trying to dupe unsuspecting users. Now, a dangerous WhatsApp scam is the rage and scammers are stealing people’s money left, right and centre. Wondering how anyone can just trick you into sending them money? Well, it’s quite simple and sophisticated at the same place.

Many users have fallen for this WhatsApp scam, which can not only steal your money but also your friends’ money. All it takes is one missed call.

WhatsApp scam exposed

With millions of users on WhatsApp, even a small percentage of users falling for this scam mounts to numerous users. With the growing digital crimes, one cybercrime takes place every 10 minutes in India. And with mobile wallets becoming a norm these days, the risk is quadrupled.

Here’s how the scam works:

It all starts with a call from the scammers. Users will be instructed to dial a number followed by *67* or *405* and as soon as the users follow the instructions, they are logged out of their WhatsApp accounts. In a matter of minutes, the scammers gain control of your WhatsApp accounts.

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The short dial code is used for call forwarding from operators such as Reliance Jio and Airtel. The number that follows the short dial code is that of the hackers, who will then start receiving all your calls. Using the call forwarding feature, the hackers will start the WhatsApp registration and the OTP verification call will be sent to the scammer’s phone.

Once the verification is complete, your WhatsApp chats, personal photos, contact numbers, and the entire account itself will be in the scammer’s control.

Now, the scammer starts by messaging your contacts asking for money. The scammers ask for small amounts to avoid raising any red flags. But when the message is sent to hundreds of people, that small amount turns into a small fortune.

Not everyone would fall for this scam, but even if a small percentage sends the money as requested, it is a win for the scammers.

A similar scam has been going on on Facebook for many years, where users get a link and when they click on it, their account gets hacked. The link is sent in an appealing context designed to ignite curiosity, forcing you to click on it.

How to avoid such scams?

There a few simple steps you can follow to avoid such scams.

  1. Make sure you learn about the call forwarding scams by knowing your telco’s call forwarding dial code.
  2. Never trust a stranger with your personal information.
  3. Do not fall for scare tactics like disconnection of your number or debit card.
  4. Go to haveibeenpwned.com and enter your email address to see if your ID has been leaked in any data base. If yes, then go ahead of change your email password.
  5. You can also complain on the National Cyber Crime Portal to help identify the offenders.


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