From pretending to be one of your relatives
to hacking into your Facebook account, scammers are getting real creative these days to get you to part with your hard-earned money.
Now, scammers are targetting WhatsApp users, so here's what you need to know to keep your account safe.
Know their modus operandi
According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Comission (MCMC), they've received reports of scammers hacking and taking over an individual's WhatsApp account.
In most of the cases, the scammers would use any trick in the book to get an individual to hand over a six-digit verification code that was sent to their account.
A user would typically receive a six-digit verification code when they attempt to change the phone number tied to a WhatsApp account.
By using the code, the scammers can then take over an individual's WhatsApp account, change their identity and then go on their scamming ways.
Thankfully, the MCMC has managed to detect several modus operandi and tricks used by the scammrs:
- The scammers would disguise themselves as friends or family members using a WhatsApp account that has been hacked and they would ask a user to turn over their six-digit verification code.
- The scammers would tell a user that they are working for WhatsApp, and they will request the user to reveal the six-digit verification code.
- The scammers would deliberately make several failed verification attempts, triggering WhatsApp to send over a verification code via a voice call, to which the scammers would then a) disguise themselves as a WhatsApp staff to obtain the code, or b) the scammers would request for the password or a user's voicemail PIN to access the voice recording (should the user fail to answer the call)
Keeping your account safe
Now that you know their modus operandi, you now need to know how to keep your account safe.
Here are some tips:
#1 Never reveal your verification code to anyone
This is a no-brainer, and perhaps the most important thing to remember. Any time you receive a verification code, you need to know
that some one is trying to access your account. So, the last thing you want to do is to give them a red carpet to hacking your account.
#2 Be wary of friends/family members asking for help
Think about it: there's no reason for your bestie or your dad to ask you for a verification code, because they are not resetting your
account. So, if someone close to you asks you for a verification code, tell them it is: 'PiM4tiKau'.
#3 Beef up your WhatsApp security
WhatsApp has a built-in two-step verification security setting, and we would advise you to make sure that it's turned on. To do that, log into your WhatsApp, access Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Follow the instructions shown on screen and voila, your WhatsApp account is a little bit safer.
#4 Update your password/PIN periodically
And make sure that your password or voicemail PIN is not easy to guess. If your password or PIN is your date of birth, your IC number or 123456, hello; time to change it, please!