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WhatsApp scam: Action Fraud receives surging number of scams which steals accounts – how to protect yourself

Police are receiving a larger volume of reports about a vicious WhatsApp scam which steals accounts.

Action Fraud have received over 60 reports relating to the scam. It begins with a criminal getting access to another account on the messaging platform which lists you as a contact.

Posing as a friend or a member of a WhatsApp group you’re in, fraudsters will then send you seemingly normal messages to drum up a conversation. You will often receive a six digit code from the messaging platform at the same time, with the criminal trying to login into your account using your mobile number.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said con artists will try and deceive you by saying they sent you their code by accident and ask for you to return it. Criminals can then lock you out of your account once they log in – which can then be used to try and steal more accounts.

Action Fraud have released security advice on what you can do to protect yourself from being extorted. The force recommends you to always have two-step verification to give you an extra later of protection.

It’s advised that you never share your account’s activation code with anyone and to follow Stop, Think, Call – where you always call a family member or friend if they make a strange request through messages.

This will confirm their identity. People are also advised to report spam messages, or block a sender, by pressing and holding the message bubble, selecting ‘report’ and following the instructions.


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