How to Not Fall Prey to WhatsApp Scam

Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)

South Africans have fallen prey to scammers lately who use WhatsApp to ask for money from their contact lists.

Scammers have now moved from fraudulently taking or cloning cards to now illegally porting WhatsApp users’ numbers to gain control of their apps. They port the number to another service provider so as to gain control of the number.

Which allows them to receive everything connected to the number, from SMSes, calls and etc. without the knowledge of the original owner.

It was said not so long ago that users don’t have to go to the shop or service provider physically should they wish to port their number to another service provider. Users can just dial a USSD number to their desired service provider and they will just receive a call to confirm their details.

Something which can be manipulated by scammers who have your details. User will then receive an OTP that will enable the porting. While the porting is yet to be processed the original user will receive an SMS to confirm the porting of the number and users are urged to not ignore the SMS and call their service provider immediately.

How to not fall prey of WhatsApp scams

  • Call your colleague, sibling or friend if you receive a WhatsApp from them asking for money do not send an ewallet or cash send if they ask.
  • Don’t ignore porting SMSes. It usually takes approximately 50 minutes to port a number.
  • Don’t turn your phone off if you receive annoying calls to confirm your details, rather ignore them.
  • Turn on security notifications on WhatsApp
  • Enable two step verification on your WhatsApp which will need you to choose six digits pin and also register an email address. The pin will be requested should another user register that number on WhatsApp on a different device.

Users are also urged to rather use one number for WhatsApp instead of changing it or inform all your contact list that you no longer using the number for WhatsApp.

Apparently this scam is not new to South Africa it has been happening in various countries for a while now. Singapore is reported to being one of them.

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