Approximately 59% of people have received or know someone who has received a message-based scam in the past year, according to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp users are warned of a prolific “friend in need” scam that could steal your money.
WhatsApp is now working with National Trading Standards to warn users about the scams and similar scams.
The stop. Think. Call ‘campaign aims to educate people on what to do to avoid being exploited by cyber criminals.
The idea is that you “stop” before replying to any suspicious message and make sure your two-factor authentication is enabled.
This can help make your account more secure.
WhatsApp then wants you to “reconsider” what the message is saying.
Does the person want money? Are they putting you under pressure?
Next, WhatsApp says that you should “call” the person notifying you to see if it is actually them.
In such a scam, cyber criminals hack into the account of someone you know.
They’ll then message you or several people on your friend’s contact list, hoping someone will reply.
The criminal can even read previous messages so they can mimic the correct tone to speak to you so that there is no suspicion.
There are many reasons the person might need a loan.
This can range from the criminal pretending that your friend is stuck overseas and needs airline money or has been robbed.
When asked for money this way, stop and try to call the friend.
They may say they can’t speak to you right now, but tell them you can’t send money until you can confirm that it is actually them.
The cheater may try to express a sense of urgency or try to convince you of feelings of guilt.
However, it is important to stay calm and call the person or use some other method to verify their identity.
Citizens Advice Scams Action has also warned of the “Friends in Need” scam and supports the campaign.
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