In recent times, you must have heard about WhatsApp Scams in the media.
WhatsApp has more than 1 Billion users all over the world. It is the second most popular social network, between Facebook (the first) and YouTube (the third). That is why it is an objective to deceive us.
It is nothing new. It’s been a while since WhatsApp has been used to scam its users. Recently another scam related to WhatsApp became popular and sooner than later we will know a new one.
As with email and phishing, friends of the outside employ WhatsApp to pose as companies or popular brands. Their goal is that we give them our money, directly or indirectly, either by making a payment for something that we will never see or by contracting paid telephone subscriptions without knowing it.
How to detect WhatsApp scams if they fall on your phone?
One of the most popular types of WhatsApp scams have to do with offers, discounts and other advantages you can get thanks to you, and only you, have received a certain message with a link.
Think twice. Did you request advertising for that brand or service? Why are they going to contact you to offer you an offer or discount via WhatsApp?
Make sure that the number that sends the message corresponds to the company or brand in question. And most importantly, especially on Android, do not open the link, it will surely take you to an unsafe address that installs malware on your smartphone.
Test new features:
A common complaint in WhatsApp scams is to offer you to be among the first to try new features of this messaging app.
Who would not want to be the first to try something? Unfortunately, WhatsApp does not work like that. New features appear via official updates, in the App Store or on Google Play. And the Beta versions are limited to a small group of testers, they will not invite you to try it with a random message from an unknown phone number.
So forget about opening a link to go to know what web address that promises new functions only available to a few. And, in Android, distrust of installing an APK without signing or not coming from Google Play or a well-known and legit alternative store.
Read what someone writes before sending it, listen to a foreign conversation, know if someone is really connected, deactivate a new WhatsApp feature that you do not like.
WhatsApp updates are not always liked by everyone, and WhatsApp scams try to take advantage of this discontent promising to deactivate the changes or activate hidden functions.
The chains of messages are a classic that comes from the mail on paper and spread by email. Currently, it is still popular in emails and now also in social networks (Facebook especially) and in messaging apps like WhatsApp.
You have to differentiate between two types of messages. There are those whose purpose is to spread a lie. While they will not damage your phone, they will waste your time and the only thing you will do is take part in spreading a hoax. Collections for sick children, kidnappings, food in poor condition and the list is endless.
In summary, these are the characteristics of WhatsApp scams:
- They come from an unknown source or phone number.
- They pose as well-known contacts, friends or relatives.
- They offer something you will not find on the page or official channels.
- To “benefit” you have to register or sign up for an external page.
- In the case of chain messages, their spelling leaves much to be desired.
The basic recommendations to avoid falling into WhatsApp scams:
- Download WhatsApp from the app stores or from the official page.
- Check the accuracy of any message on the official page of the brand in question.
- Do not trust, by default, any unknown number, especially if they are special, shorter than usual.
- Do not open links. If you have to go to an address, look for it or go to the official source.
- Break the chains. Before sharing a message with your contacts, verify that it is true with official pages or reliable sources.
You will like to read next article: WhatsApp Tests “Suspicious Link Detection” to Control Fake News.
Rohit Rajdev is an entrepreneur and having over 2 years of progressive experience as a web content writer.
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