WhatsApp's 2billion users warned of new horror scam – and it could cost you - Fix Bdsthanhhoavn

WhatsApp’s 2billion users warned of new horror scam – and it could cost you

EXPERTS have issued a stark warning to WhatsApp’s 2billion users about the growing threat of scams.

The issue has been rife since the pandemic began and fraudsters are getting even more cunning with their con tricks.

Scams are a big problem on WhatsApp

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Scams are a big problem on WhatsAppCredit: Getty

We’ve already seen a spate of fake delivery messages that set out to bleed your bank account dry.

But the danger is far from over.

Security pros are now cautioning people to beware of WhatsApp ads which feature coupons from well-known shops in exchange for doing a survey.

“The invite looks like it comes from a friend on WhatsApp,” warned security awareness expert Jacqueline Jayne, from KnowBe4.

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“A similar strain installs a malware on the phone, which looks like a software update, but steals all the contacts, phone numbers and email addresses – and if they can find any, passwords and banking credentials.”

One of the main problems is fraudsters pretending to be a family member or friend to deceive you.

“You should be suspicious of unsolicited or strange messages from contacts, especially if the messages sound urgent or try to get you to click on a link,” she continued.

“Never trust messages simply because they come from a friend’s account.

“Just as importantly, if a weird message from a friend’s account makes you think they’ve been hacked, don’t message them back via the same service to warn them.

“If you’re right, your real friend will never see the warning, and you will have tipped off the crooks that you are onto them.

“Contact your friend some other way instead.”

Cyber security researchers warn people to watch out for dubious QR codes as well.

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After becoming mainstream for things like checking in and paperless menus during the pandemic, criminals have moved in to take advantage.

“Recently, we have seen fake QR codes stuck to parking meters enticing unwitting drivers to scan the code, and hand over their payment details believing they were paying for parking, whereas they were actually handing over their payment information to criminals,” Jayne added.

How to protect yourself from scams

BY keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid getting caught up in a scam:

  • Firstly, remember that if something seems too good to be true, it normally is.
  • Check brands are “verified” on Facebook and Twitter pages – this means the company will have a blue tick on its profile.
  • Look for grammatical and spelling errors; fraudsters are notoriously bad at writing proper English. If you receive a message from a “friend” informing you of a freebie, consider whether it’s written in your friend’s normal style.
  • If you’re invited to click on a URL, hover over the link to see the address it will take you to – does it look genuine?
  • To be on the really safe side, don’t click on unsolicited links in messages, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
  • Be careful when opening email attachments too. Fraudsters are increasingly attaching files, usually PDFs or spreadsheets, which contain dangerous malware.
  • If you receive a suspicious message then report it to the company, block the sender and delete it.
  • If you think you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.
Con artists are constantly looking for new tricks

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Con artists are constantly looking for new tricksCredit: Getty

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