WhatsApp scams continue to pose a significant risk to users in 2023. These scams come in various forms — including the international call scam, call forwarding scam, job scam, and CEO scam.
The international call scam is one of the most recent and common ones — where scammers use phone numbers from countries like Malaysia, Kenya, and Vietnam, among others — to impersonate professionals and extort personal data and money. There has been a rise in complaints from users about receiving random calls on WhatsApp, and Truecaller has teamed up with WhatsApp to address this issue.
Another prevalent scam is the call forwarding scam, where attackers trick users into dialing MMI codes that activate call forwarding. This allows the scammers to access sensitive OTPs and steal money from the user’s account. To avoid this, it’s crucial not to share any sensitive information or dial any codes the scammers may ask you to.
Job scams are also a common threat — where scammers pretend to be recruitment agents offering easy money for watching and sharing YouTube videos. They often use UPI requests to trick people into paying them, and reportedly, they first build trust by offering a small amount, and then extorting a bigger amount as an ‘investment.’
The CEO scam is another prevalent threat, where scammers pretend to be the CEO or boss and text the user — asking for money transfer to employees or stakeholders on their behalf. It’s essential to verify the sender’s identity and not transfer any money. In all likelihood, it is impossible that the CEO of your company will call you to help him transfer money or pay salaries. Ergo, beware if someone texts you pretending to be a high-ranking official.
It is crucial to stay vigilant and protect personal information by keeping it confidential. Before interacting with anyone on WhatsApp, it’s crucial to do due diligence and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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