This horrifying WhatsApp scam can hijack your account with just a phone call

A horrifying new WhatsApp scam can steal access to your account with just a phone call! Know how to avoid this threat.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 12:39 IST
A new WhatsApp scam can allow hackers to take control of your account. Here’s how it works. (Bloomberg)
A new WhatsApp scam can allow hackers to take control of your account. Here’s how it works. (Bloomberg)

Whether it is email, SMS, bank account logins, or social media, cybercrime is expanding its reach into each and every facet of our daily lives. And guess what, now the most used messaging application, WhatsApp has become the platform for cyber fraud in a new way. WhatsApp scams are happening way too frequently these days with hackers adopting new tactics to dupe innocent users to take control of their data, especially dealing with bank accounts. Now, another way has been found by hackers that is even more insidious. This WhatsApp scam allows hackers to take control of your account with just a phone call! And that's it! Just a phone call and your WhatsApp account access will be in the hands of cybercriminals.

The new WhatsApp scam was highlighted by Rahul Sasi, the founder and CEO of CloudSEk, which is a contextual AI startup that alerts about the potential cyber dangers or scams. According to the cyber expert, victims get a call from hackers who instruct them to dial numbers beginning with '67' or '405'. Those who obey and do so find that they are logged out of their account and, what is more, hackers will have complete control of their WhatsApp accounts. Also Read: Zoom ALERT! iPhone, Android or Windows users are at HIGH risk; Do this now

According to CloudSEK's founder, the number dialled by victims is a service request for Airtel's 'call forwarding' for when your phone line is busy or engaged. They can then redirect the victims' calls to a phone number that belongs to them. In the meantime, the attackers start the WhatsApp signup process by choosing "the option to send OTP through phone call." He said that the OTP will now be sent to the attacker's phone. Through this technique, the attacker is able to gain access to the victims' accounts. Also Read: Have Apple iPhone? Beware! Hackers targetting you with vicious money-stealing FluBot malware

According to the security researcher, the same method can also be used to get into anyone's WhatsApp account. "This method works globally because every country and service provider has an identical service request number," Rahul Sasi mentioned.

How to avoid being the victim of this WhatsApp scam?

  • Scammers will try to contact you out of the blue. The simple trick is to avoid taking calls from unknown numbers or to make calls to unknown numbers.
  • Don't fall for the trap! If the hackers ask you to dial any number or try to get any personal or financial details, then never share that.
  • If you get to know about a scam or hacker, then report them. You can directly report on WhatsApp also, while going to Settings - Help and then Contact Us. There, explain your problem and report about the scam.


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First Published Date: 28 May, 17:02 IST