In this modern day, online communication platforms have become a vital part of human life as they cater to our trivial needs. Such a platform, WhatsApp, has been serving us for more than one decade now. In many places, the platform is considered a primary mode of communication.
As we all know, the popularity of these platforms corresponds to the number of scammers strolling around the field; WhatsApp has become a receptacle of all kinds of cyber crimes and mishappenings. Among all the persecution posed by scammers, whatsapp identity theft is one of the most prominent frauds causing harm to millions of users worldwide.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- What is WhatsApp Identity Theft?
- Types of WhatsApp identity theft
- How identity theft works on Whatsapp?
- What can you do to prevent Whatsapp Identity Theft?
- How to secure your Whatsapp Account?
- Whatsapp identity theft: How to protect yourself?
- How can FFR help if you have become a victim of WhatsApp identity theft?
What is WhatsApp Identity Theft?
Nowadays, we hold all our information, such as photos, videos, and bank details on our phones. Losing access to it and someone getting their hands on it means it makes them potent enough to cause us harm in many ways. Our data can get stolen. Our private information can get exposed to other people. Scammers resort to identity theft so that they can exploit others’ WhatsApp data for their own benefit. They mostly leverage WhatsApp as a means of perpetration as it is easy to trick a lot of people together through this app.
Types of Whatsapp identity theft
Identity theft can occur in many ways and with diverse objectives, but mostly on WhatsApp, they approach their victims by impersonating someone else, and try to get access to their account to continue this impersonation game. To counterfeit someone else is not always identity thieves’ modus operandi. Sometimes they disperse malicious links via WhatsApp to bring victims into their play.
Sim Swapping Scams
Sim swapping is considered one of the most prominent WhatsApp scams as this scam’s strategy facilitates an easy grasp of targets’ sensitive data, devoid of much trouble. Scammers officiate WhatsApp hijacking by cloning their targets’ WhatsApp numbers and adhering them with other SIM cards.
By leveraging victims’ phone numbers, scammers can access not only WhatsApp but also other apps by changing their login credentials.
Relative Impersonation scams
The scamming scheme that has become popular among WhatsApp predators lately is impersonation scams. Scammers mostly approach their targets’ in the pretense of their father or mother or a close acquaintance and claim that they have mistakenly forwarded a verification code and ask them to forward it back at their earliest convenience. Inundated with urgency, they try their best to manipulate them into sending the code without thinking twice.
The code they claim to have forwarded mistakenly is actually an OTP that the scammers need to get access to your account.
Malicious link dispersal
We often receive messages providing links through WhatsApp that redirect us to some websites where they engage users with quiz games or prize wheels. These websites claim to provide the participants with rewards for winning. Scammers, through these tactics, target participants’ sensitive information and meticulously insinuate into their WhatsApp accounts.
Online Dating Scams
Another easy means for perpetration is online dating apps. Scammers take full advantage of people building rapport with strangers on this platform. They may pose as a cyber security expert and induce fear in their target by explaining how their accounts are prone to getting hacked by scammers.
They may claim that they can safeguard their account and ask for remote access or login credentials and terminate communication immediately after getting what they were intended for.
Again, impersonation scam comes into play when scammers try to gain access to others’ WhatsApp accounts by tricking them and gathering information from social media profiles.
How does identity theft work on Whatsapp?
As mentioned earlier, scammers do not always proceed with counterfeiting someone else. Instead, they may resort to malware as well as cloned phone numbers, or manipulate SIM card providers into transferring their targets’ numbers into another SIM that they have access to. In addition, more ingenious scammers hunt down high-profile individuals or businesses, insinuating spyware into their devices.
Thus, scammers are coming up with more updated strategies every day. So it is necessary that you keep yourself updated and well-informed about these strategies to win against them.
What can you do to prevent Whatsapp Identity Theft?
The following are the preventives you can opt for to stay ahead of the threats these acquisitive scammers pose.
- Do not share the verification code you receive on your phone.
- Verify the identity of the person who approaches you with an unknown number and claims to be someone you know
- Block the WhatsApp number straight away if it seems to be a scammer
- Exercise caution while finding a partner through online dating apps
- Someone unknown asking for your account details is a red flag
- Do not click on links that seem suspicious.
- Avoid downloading attachments from unknown sources
- If you have logged in to your WhatsApp account on a public device, make sure you have logged out of the device when the work is done, to avoid a WhatsApp data leak.
How to secure your Whatsapp Account?
The first step to safeguarding your online communications account is creating a strong and unique password. Long passwords with different characters and symbols are preferable. Besides the password, two-step verification is an effective countermeasure that lowers the possibility of your account getting hacked. Moreover, keeping your account up to date and setting up a device code bolsters your safety and prevents you from falling into the traps of scammers.
Last but not least, be mindful of people who have physical access to your phone as well as your accounts.
Whatsapp identity theft: How to protect yourself?
If you find someone suspicious approaching through WhatsApp, you can immediately report the person, including the chat, to WhatsApp. Needless to say, the option is only available to you until you have access to your account. If you do not have access to your account, in that case, you can report the fraud to local legal authorities.
Moreover, you can seek help from fund recovery companies that are dedicated to helping people targeted by cyber-related crimes.
How can FFR help if you have become a victim of WhatsApp identity theft?
The Financial Fund Recovery team consists of the best cyber security experts in their field of work. Not only are they specialized in dealing with such scams, but they also work diligently to help our clients get out of them. Our usual modus operandi provides our clients with free consultation service followed by an analysis on the case, furnishing an outline of the scam recovery process. We hold an 82% success rate in dealing with such scams.
With Financial Fund Recovery, you not only get your access to your hard-earned money back, but the guidelines we provide also bestow you with foresight and help you in your future investment plans.
Is it safe to answer a call or text having 855 as the area code?
There is nothing unsafe about answering such calls and texts. 855 is a legitimate toll-free number used in the United States of America.
What are the ways to spot a WhatsApp scammer?
WhatsApp Identity theft has become more prevalent these days. Here are some tips to spot WhatsApp scammers.
- Frequently forwarded messages are red flags. It is better that you avoid the information provided in those texts.
- Scammers often try to trick people by dispersing fraudulent links. Avoid clicking on them if the link or attachment comes from an unknown source.
- Keep an eye out for grammatical and spelling mistakes.
- Be cautious if you receive any verification code regarding your WhatsApp account login when you are not trying to open one.
- People approaching through unknown numbers claiming to be someone you know can be potential scammers. Deal with them with a skeptical approach.
What is WhatsApp's reaction to Cybernews's allegation of a data breach?
WhatsApp is found to be denying the allegation of a data breach of 500 million users that was up for sale in the darknet. They have remarked the screenshot as "unsubstantiated."
WhatsApp identity theft conned you? Contact us and reclaim your account with the help of Financial Fund Recovery!