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Friday, September 10, 2021

WhatsApp Scams – How Do They Trick You And Checklist For Staying Safe

According to the FBI, phishing was the most prevalent crime in the category of cybercrimes in 2020. Also, the incidents almost became double than before, recording an increase from 114,702 in the year 2019 to as many as 241,324 incidents in 2020. But do scammers use WhatsApp? The answer is a Yes. They do and we will find out a few of how they do so. 

It has also been reported that scammers hack WhatsApp for their ill intentions. Of late, it has come to light those hackers developed a fake WhatsApp version so that they could trick iPhone users to get hold of their sensitive data. 

The fake WhatsApp version was traced and led to a link with an Italian surveillance company known by the name “Cy4Gate“. This was detected by a research lab dealing with cybersecurity at the University of Toronto. 

According to reports, this kind of cyber attack tries to trick users so that they install configuration files or MDMs or Mobile Device Management that facilitates downloading of malware in the device that has been targeted. 

In this scam, a phishing page that had a domain config5-dati[.]com was trying to trick iPhone users so that they would download the app. But it was a configuration file for iPhone. 

Surprisingly, the phishing page was developed in such a way by the WhatsApp scammers that it resembled an official webpage of WhatsApp that contained professional-looking graphics. It urges users to click on the download button and continue as per instructions. However, the details on the phishing site are in Italian. 


WhatsApp Scammers – How do They Operate

Here, let us find out how WhatsApp scams can leave you hoodwinked and siphon out your money in the process. Let us find out the following here-

  1. In what ways do WhatsApp scams take place
  2. Kaspersky expert recommendations to stay safe online

Let us take one point at a time.

1. In What Ways do WhatsApp Scams Take Place

Check out these instances and methods in which you might be taken for a ride. You might get tricked in the following ways by WhatsApp scams.

  • WhatsApp Voice Calls

Users are eagerly waiting for access to the invitation, but cybercriminals are already circulating the link that automatically downloads malware on the device. 

  • Frauds Committed via Browsers

Once WhatsApp created the browser platform for its users, scammers were quick to create fraudulent websites so that they could steal your banking data. The websites ask for your phone number and encourage them to subscribe at special rates. 

They also urge users to download applications but, it is a Trojan that is a perfect weapon for cybercriminals to get access to sensitive information. 

  • Fake Voice Mail Message

The trap is loads when you hit the play button when you receive an email that you have an unread voice message in WhatsApp. So, when you hit this button, there is no unread message but the malicious software gets dropped into your device. 

Aside from the above methods, there are various other ways that WhatsApp scams take place. 

2. Kaspersky Expert Recommendations to Stay Safe Online

Check out how you can stay safe.

  • Look for irregularities, spelling mistakes when you are about to click on a link. Try to look for the preview. 
  • If you receive a message from your friend, it could still be a hack because their accounts might have been compromised. 
  • Do not follow any link that you get from emails.
  • Install a security solution and make sure you are up to date with the same.

Last but not the least, if you find that an email is from an ID that is not normal or what you usually see, stay away from it. Fake or scams usually have IDs that look gibberish.


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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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