Alert! This shocking trick can get your WhatsApp number cloned

Fraudsters are using SIM-swapping techniques in a bid to get your WhatsApp number cloned.

| Updated on: Jan 14 2022, 15:48 IST
Online fraudsters are using the SIM-swapping technique by mimicking your WhatsApp number to steal your data, personal information (Shutterstock)
Online fraudsters are using the SIM-swapping technique by mimicking your WhatsApp number to steal your data, personal information (Shutterstock)

WhatsApp users are again being made the target of cybercriminals! And this time the matter has acquired sinister proportions as the fraudsters are using the SIM-swapping technique to steal personal information of users and thereafter empty out bank accounts. Meta-owned app has a huge user base and this particular WhatsApp trick adopted by fraudsters has the potential to affect millions of users.

WhatsApp has always been the target of online scammers due to its popularity across the globe. Over the last year, there has been a huge surge in the number of accounts stolen- around 120 percent rise has been seen in the cases of phishing and ransomware attacks on such popular messaging applications as WhatsApp, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky report revealed. Know here how cybercriminals get your WhatsApp number cloned.

What is the SIM-Swapping technique?

The technique known as 'SIM-Swapping' which is putting 2 billion WhatsApp accounts at risk is actually a tactic by scammers to steal your money. How? Online scammers clone any WhatsApp phone number and assign it to a new SIM card. Once they have the cloned-SIM card of your number, then they can easily access your contacts, passwords, and bank account details.

Ultimately, what online fraudsters want is your phone number to process the SIM-swapping technique to access your information. Many people even do share their information by themselves in a very short span of time by falling into the trap laid by these criminals. Though, calls from fake bots to people also make them reveal their sensitive information. When an attack occurs, the victim's services are usually temporarily suspended for a few minutes. But this time is enough for an online fraudster to bring their plan into action.

How to prevent from SIM-Swapping scam

  • Set two-Step authentication: The two-step verification of WhatsApp is important. This additional layer of security will keep the hackers away. To turn on the two-step verification, you will again need to go to your WhatsApp's Settings and then tap on Account. There you will find the two-step verification settings.
  • Don't click suspicious links: How simple! Isn't it? Most of the malicious links come from some large group or unknown emails or now even from unknown numbers on your WhatsApp. The only task is to restrict yourself from clicking any suspicious links. Even if it doesn't look suspicious, do check its authenticity by looking at the URL.
  • Most important - 'Do Not Share Sensitive Information' with anyone. You should never share your sensitive information, even if they pretend to be from a credible organisation. Always verify their credibility.

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First Published Date: 14 Jan, 15:48 IST