The social media network, WhatsApp, has over 2 billion user accounts all over the globe, with over 75 million users in the United States alone.
Scams are shared on WhatsApp because of their size and global reach. Last year, US citizens lost $770 million to social media scams. In 2022, malicious actors will continue to target WhatsApp.
Scams on WhatsApp in the Year 2022
WhatsApp scam pictures can be found online, but scammers frequently change their messages’ format. It’s essential to learn about the types of scams you might run into on WhatsApp and the common ways that bad people try to trick you.
Scam messages sent via WhatsApp are frequently distributed in bulk, making the sender feel they must act quickly. It could be a member of your family who urgently needs financial assistance, or it could be a representative of a celebrity asking you to donate to their brand-new cause. In general, con artists are motivated by one of the following three goals:
-Obtain your money or cryptocurrency by dishonest means.
-Collect your identifying information by any means necessary.
-To put malicious software on your device.
You can be safer from WhatsApp scammers if you learn to spot the most common ways they try to trick you.
Scams Involving Impersonation of Family Members
Who is the most trusted by the general public? Because of this, scammers are using WhatsApp more and more to pretend to be the loved ones of their victims to steal personal information.
The threat actor poses as the parent’s child with a new phone number in a common variation of this scam known as the “Hi Mom, Hi Dad” scam.
The con artist will then use social engineering tactics to trick their victim into giving them money or sensitive information by making false claims about the victim’s financial or digital security.
Scam photo sent via Whatsapp reading “Hi, Mom.”
When her grandfather received the message “Hi Dad, my other phone crashed, so hence the new temporary number,” she knew he had fallen for the WhatsApp scam. Please get in touch if you’re reading this. I adore you.
My grandfather thought it was more likely that his son (my dad) would use a temporary number because we were on vacation when the scammer sent the message, she said.
After that, the imposter asked my grandpa to make some payments for them, saying they desperately needed the cash at the time and would pay him back immediately. My grandfather sent $3,125 before he realized there was a problem.
To what extent can I safeguard myself? Message the person’s old number to make sure it’s really them if they message you from a new one. Be cautious about opening attachments sent from the unique number until you know it belongs to someone you know and trust.
Scams on WhatsApp involving the “Wrong Number.”
Wrong number scams on WhatsApp have been around for a while, and they usually involve a lot of words and tricky social engineering techniques.
Usually, they will begin with a message from an unidentified number. They will introduce themselves or their company, and finally, they will say that they accidentally dialed the wrong number to explain their message.
A Scam on WhatsApp Based on the Wrong Number
Scammers, on the other hand, will not let the topic rest there; instead, they will ask you if you would be interested in investing in their company. They might inquire about your name and the location of your home base in the world.
What should I do to safeguard myself? Suppose you are contacted on WhatsApp by a number you do not recognize. In that case, it is best to ignore the message and, under no circumstances, reveal any personal information to the sender. No respectable business would look for investors by having random conversations on WhatsApp.
Scams on WhatsApp that say “Complete This Survey.”
In December of 2016, the internet warned users of WhatsApp about a phishing message that was circulating on the app. The statement asked users to participate in a brief survey about their WhatsApp experiences.
To be eligible for the cash prize awarded for completing the survey, users were also required to pay a nominal fee. In 2022, news outlets reported another fake WhatsApp survey that told Android phone users that they could win free Amazon gifts if they took the study.
What should I do to safeguard myself? Think about it logically. What contest requires participants to pay money to be eligible for prizes? It’s a fake one. That’s what it is.
Romantic Phishing on WhatsApp
Romance scams often begin on dating apps like Tinder, but they’re also the best at finding and banning extortion accounts. You can block and report suspicious accounts on most dating apps.
But this means that scammers often try to move quickly to WhatsApp or other social media platforms to continue their social engineering and, in the end, get a lot of money from people who are in love.
Love Scam on WhatsApp
Users of WhatsApp were invited to a group for strangers looking for romantic relationships. After clicking the link to join, they were taken to a fake Facebook login page that stole their information.
How Do I Safeguard It? Never enter account info into a link from an unverified number, especially for a significant site. You can find the Facebook group via the app or website.
Scams on WhatsApp and banks
At least one report has come in this year about scammers pretending to be banking on WhatsApp, which is another place people tend to trust.
A US-based English instructor reported this on TikTok in May 2022. Someone posed as her bank on WhatsApp. The attacker said she needed to update her banking info to pay bills and send and receive payments.
What can I do to protect myself? Most banks will offer proof that they have your personal information, so check for that first. Second, your bank will have a customer care line; if you’re unsure whether a message is from them, open an independent channel.
WhatsApp Cryptocurrency Phishing
Over the past year, a big problem in India has been the rise of WhatsApp groups full of “bitcoin analysts” who promise returns on investments of almost 100%.
No one gave their permission to be added to these groups, so no one’s names or other data were disclosed, nor were the firm details or website URLs. Three red flags indicate something fishy is going on.
Cryptocurrency-Related Whatsapp Scams
There were “cheerleaders” in the group, and it seemed like they were there to back up what the analysts said. However, likely, they were also part of the scam.
What can I do to protect myself? Don’t let several individuals “confirm” that a moneymaking approach works. No scammer works alone.
“You Won” Scam WhatsApp
This kind of phishing scam is becoming increasingly common on WhatsApp. It dupes victims into clicking on dangerous links through text or email.
Most of the time, the link posted in the message will be very close to the name of an actual website, but it will have some red flags, like a character with an accent, like the scam text that pretends to be from a UK customer service.
Scam on Asda’s WhatsApp (Asda is a British supermarket)
How do I keep myself safe? If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is an excellent rule to follow on the internet. Contact the customer service department of the company or business to find out if you really did win something.
Scams that look like WhatsApp on other sites
Scams on WhatsApp are not just limited to the app itself, though. Since WhatsApp is a household name, it’s a great way to make email phishing campaigns seem real.
Users who clicked the Allow button on this page, which the site said would certify that they’re not a robot, had malware downloaded.
A Scam using Whatsapp and Email
How do I keep myself safe? If you get an email from a big brand that has spelling mistakes, is formatted in a weird way, or comes from an email address that looks weird, don’t open it, and definitely don’t click on it. Like banks and other businesses, you can always contact the company in a clear, official way to find out if the email is confirmed.
Additionally, many modern antivirus software comes with phishing protection and filtering, so it’s a good idea to look into the different providers.
Keeping Yourself Safe While You’re Online
From some of the scams mentioned in this article, you can probably tell that the internet can be dangerous. There are many things to watch out for online, not all of which are limited to WhatsApp. Follow these rules when you get a strange message:
Just one click can launch spyware onto your device. Don’t click if it appears suspicious.
Contact customer service to verify an email’s legitimacy.
Keep up with the latest scams to avoid them.
These are good safety tips, but there are more. Using a password manager boosts your security, especially for social media accounts.
Using a password manager will assist you in ensuring that all of your passwords are of an appropriate length and are entirely distinct for each and every account you own. This means that even if one of your accounts is breached, hackers won’t have an easy way into the other websites where you have an account. This is true even if one of your accounts is compromised.
Whatever app you use, keep your ears and eyes open, or you could become a victim.