With more than 2 billion users, WhatsApp is a lucrative target for fraudsters. In fact, it’s estimated that on average a victim loses thousands of dollars after falling prey to a scam. Scams through whatsapp can vary, but they all have one thing in common – they try to take advantage of your trust and inexperience in the digital world.
A popular type of scam is network security basics someone you know to steal money. This can happen when a criminal hijacks the account of a friend or family member, and then messages you with a story that they need to share your banking details or transfer funds urgently. Alternatively, they could tell you that they are stuck abroad or in jail and need your help to get out. Often, there is a sense of urgency in the message and they won’t want to be disturbed by you calling them.
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If you’re unsure whether the person is really your contact, try asking them something only they would know (such as their pet’s age). It can also be helpful to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on your phone and other services that support it, like PayPal. This will prevent a criminal from gaining access to your account even if they manage to hack your number and spoof the verification code that’s sent to you. Using dedicated apps and hardware like Google Authenticator or YubiKey will also make it harder for a scammer to trick you.