Fraudsters are using an old trick to hijack users’ WhatsApp accounts
Maharashtra Cyber in a post on Twitter explains how cybercriminals are hijacking users WhatsApp accounts and forcing them to pay money in order for them to regain access to their accounts.
WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. Its soaring popularity also makes it popular among fraudsters who are looking for ways to gain access to users' accounts in order to force them into giving money. In the past, numerous reports have detailed how scammers have used social hacking to lure users into sharing their WhatsApp verification codes for gaining access to their account. Now, malicious actors are using the same old technique for defrauding users again.
The rising number of such fraud cases has prompted Maharashtra Cyber, which is the state's nodal agency for cybersecurity and cybercrime, to share the modus operandi for a series of WhatsApp fraud cases that it has encountered in recent times.
The nodal agency in a long post on Twitter explains how cybercriminals are hijacking users WhatsApp accounts and forcing them to pay money in order for them to regain access to their accounts.
Modus operandi of the recent WhatsApp hijack fraud.#onlinefraud #onlinesecurity #WhatsApp #Cybersafety #cybersecurity #MahaCyber@Cyberdost @DGPMaharashtra pic.twitter.com/EPpXTNSgzZ— Maharashtra Cyber (@MahaCyber1) August 22, 2020
“The hacker knows your mobile number and this whole series of attacks starts with one person (Mr A) giving out his verification code and allowing his account to be hijacked,” the agency explained in its post on the microblogging platform.
It then says that when Mr A's account is hijacked, hackers gain access to all the contacts and groups of the individual, which starts a chain reaction. “Knowing that Mr X is most contacted from Mr A's WhatsApp list, the hacker pretends to be Mr A and convinces Mr X that his WhatsApp verification code isn't reaching to him so he has sent the same to Mr X's phone. Mr X falls for the trap and doesn't realise it's his own verification that he gives out leading to his account also being hacked,” the agency added.
The agency also noted that in some cases hackers share photos involving nudity in victim's WhatsApp groups.
It is advisable that you don't share their WhatsApp verification codes with anyone. But in case you do end up getting conned, there's a simple way using which you can regain access to your WhatsApp account. Here's what you need to do.
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