Monday, August 8, 2022

WhatsApp scam allows hackers to access contact list, lock accounts

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A WhatsApp scam will allow hackers to lock your account by accessing it after asking for a 6-digit code from the victim through a message.

Being a victim of the scam, people receive a message on WhatsApp apparently from a friend which states, “Hello, sorry, I sent you a 6-digit code by mistake, can you pass it to me please? It’s urgent?”

The WhatsApp users are advised not to send the code or click the link alongside the message they received from the cybercriminals as that is actually the two-factor authentication code.

Read: Your archived WhatsApp chats might disappear for good with new update

If the victims send the code to them, the hackers will be able to access their WhatsApp, contact list which could also lead to lock the account.

whatsapp scam hackers contact list lock accounts

According to WalesOnline UK, a WhatsApp user posted on Twitter that three of his family members have lost access to their accounts after the hackers sent a text message to them with a verification code.

Later, the victims have received a WhatsApp text from someone they knew saying they desperately need the code. The user warned netizens not to send the code or click the link.

The Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine said he had fallen victim – and hackers had access to his contact list which they used to target more people.

Read: Now you can see bigger photos, videos in WhatsApp chats

The Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy Ray Walsh told Express that WhatsApp users need to be on the lookout for a worrying new scam that is allowing cybercriminals to hack into people’s WhatsApp accounts.

whatsapp scam hackers contact list lock accounts

“Anybody who receives a message out of the blue with a one-time PIN code should be extremely wary because this is how the attack starts.”

“Following the receipt of the unexpected OTP code, the hacker will send the victim a direct message claiming to be their friend or contact. They will then ask to be forwarded the code by claiming to have mistakenly sent it to them.”

“That code is actually the two-factor authentication code for accessing the victim’s WhatsApp account, and once the victim forwards it to the hacker they will use it to hack into their account.”

The expert advised the WhatsApp users to always be on the lookout for any text messages that contain an OTP code and never, ever forward or screenshot or otherwise pass those codes on to anybody, no matter how genuine they sound.

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