WhatsApp is a mobile messaging app that allows people using the app to send text messages, photos, videos, and other types of content to one another. It’s very popular, especially among youngsters and teens. There are more than 900 million active users worldwide with 200 million of those being in India.
WhatsApp was launched in February 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. It is currently owned by Facebook but it can still be used as an independent app. WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption to secure your messages. This means that no one, not even WhatsApp (or Facebook) can read your messages.
WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging apps on smartphones. It is very easy to use and it is free! However, there are many scammers who are using this app to steal personal info from people’s phones. The two common scams that are being used against people who have signed up for the new WhatsApp are revealed in this issue.
These scams are so effective that many of the victims have given away their bank details and other important personal info to the scammers. If you receive any of these messages, do not reply to them or give out any details. Instead, report it to your local law enforcement immediately. Here are 2 scams that you must be aware of:
The first scam happens when someone sends a text message or a WhatsApp message to you with a link (URL) attached. If you click on the link, you will be directed to a website where you will be asked to log in with your username and password. Once you do that, the website will collect all the data from your phone including your name, phone number, email address, web browsing history, list of apps you have installed, and even your credit card details if you use PayPal or Google Wallet. All this information will be used by the scammers to steal your identity and rack up charges on your credit card.
The second scam is when someone sends you a WhatsApp message with a photo of a cute puppy or kitten and asks you to share your happiness with another person. You send a “smiley face” or some other kind of emoji in response and then the scammer will immediately ask you for your bank details such as your IBAN, BIC, SWIFT code, your account number, and the like. Do not give any of this personal information to anyone unless you are 100% certain that the person is genuine. Scammers have been known to use these details to steal your money.
Do not trust someone you don’t know who just contacts you through the app. Beware of suspicious links or attachments. Always think ahead forward and if you think something is too good to be true then it probably is. Your privacy matters. Never disclose your private information on WhatsApp. If you receive a suspicious message, report the sender to the Police and inform them.