Action Fraud issues warning to WhatsApp users over account takeover scam

    Action Fraud has issued a warning to Whatsapp users following reports relating to a scam that steals access to a user's account.

    Residents are being warned to set up extra protection to their whatsapp accounts folllowing reports of a scam.

    The National Fraud and Cyber Reporting Centre, Action Fraud, says it has received over 60 reports relating to a scam that steals access to a WhatsApp user's account.

    Scammers have been getting access to WhatsApp accounts after getting them listed as a contact.

    The criminal, posing as a friend or someone that’s a member of a WhatsApp group the victim is in, will then send 'seemingly normal messages' to try and start a conversation.

    While doing so, the victim will receive a text message from WhatsApp with a six-digit code - this is when the scammer tries to login to Whatsapp using the victim's number.

    The scammer will then claim that the code was sent to the victim's number by accident and ask for it to be sent to them.

    The scammer can then log in and sign the victim out.

    Action Fraud issues the following advice to protect your account:

    • Set up two-step verification to give an extra layer of protection to your account: Tap Settings > Account >Two-step verification > Enable.
    • THINK. CALL. If a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person to confirm their identity.
    • Never share your account’s activation code (that’s the 6 digit code you receive via SMS)
    • You can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp. Press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.

    If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud or 0300 123 2040

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