Scammers are posing as support staff on WhatsApp – here’s how to spot fake accounts

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Scammers posing as WhatsApp support may try to trick you into giving up personal information

WhatsApp users have been strongly warned not to be on the lookout for a new form of scam communication.

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Users are now warned that scammers posing as WhatsApp support may try to trick you into giving out personal information.

So how can you spot this latest scam and what should you do if you come across it on WhatsApp?

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Here’s everything you need to know.

How does the scam work?

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The scammers pose as WhatsApp support and may ask for your six-digit verification code, which gives them access to your account.

They might also request your credit card information and tell you that without it, you may be locked out of your account.

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Scammers’ profile photos can appear authentic and verified as they contain one of WhatsApp’s green “verified” ticks.

However, don’t be fooled by this placement of the tick.

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When communicating with a verified contact, the verified badge will appear next to their name and chat information on the conversation screen.

How to spot fake support accounts

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(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Real verified badges only appear next to a verified contact’s name; If it appears somewhere else, e.g. B. on the profile photo, this indicates that the contact may be trying to deceive you.

WhatsApp never asks for credit card information or information like your 6-digit passcode or two-step verification PIN, and does not ask for money or personal information.

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If someone is requesting this information, it is most likely a fraudulent account trying to scam you.

What should I do?

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If you are contacted by such an account, suspend and report it.

The last five messages from the chat will be shared with the official WhatsApp moderation team so they can understand the context of the conversation and ban the account.

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What other scams are you talking about?

The bank spent guidance to help people stop being scammed via the app, as research showed the number of cases had increased by 2,000% in the last year.

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The victims have lost around £1,950 each on average, and the High Street Bank has warned announcements can come across as “very personal”.

Scammers can send messages that appear to be from a friend or family member, requesting personal information, money, or your PIN number.

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They can even pose as a family member who misplaced their phone and call each other “Mom” or “Dad.”

During the 2020-2021 pandemic, the total number of scams circulating on WhatsApp increased twenty-fold, analysis showed.

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That’s why WhatsApp has partnered with National Trading Standards to raise awareness of scams.

The stop. Think. Demand.” The campaign aims to educate people on how to protect themselves and their WhatsApp account from message-based scams.

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The campaign urges people to:

  • Stop: Take your time before replying and make sure WhatsApp’s two-step verification is enabled to protect your account.
  • Think about it: Does this request make sense? Are they demanding money?
  • Call: Make sure it’s really your friend or family member by calling them directly or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you are 100% sure that the request came from someone you know and trust should you think about it.

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