WhatsApp users are being warned of a predatory scam being sent via the popular messaging app, and are being urged to report and delete the messages. The fake messages that have been targeting WhatsApp users, threatening them with account deletion if they do not hand over private information.
What is the latest WhatsApp scam?
WhatsApp and other messaging apps can be a haven for scammers attempting to steal your money and personal information and this latest one was first raised by WABetaInfo, a blog dedicated to news about the messaging app, on April 23.
Users have reported receiving messages from numerous posing as WhatsApp’s account support. Messages asking for a ‘six digit verification code’ are doing the rounds, which proceeds into a request your bank details as ‘proof of ID’, warning that without it your WhatsApp account will be locked or deleted.
The scam is attempting to be sophisticated, with the profile photo showing one of the platforms ‘verified’ green ticks. However, if the help service was genuinely contacting you, a verified badge would appear next to their name and chat information on the conversation screen.
WhatsApp advises that in these instances, you should block and report the messages to WhatsApp via the app.
READ MORE: Delete this WhatsApp message now! Urgent warning issued to users
How do I report and delete a WhatsApp message?
Report a scammer by long-pressing on a single message, which will open the context menu. From there, a drop down menu of options will appear, including ‘report’.
When you report an account, WhatsApp will receive the contents of the last five messages sent to you from that account, as well as the user’s ID and details about the message.
Kathryn Harnett, policy manager at WhatsApp, said: “WhatsApp protects our users’ personal messages with end-to-end encryption. But we want to remind people that we all have a role to play in keeping our accounts safe by remaining vigilant to the threat of scammers.
“We advise all users never to share their six-digit PIN code with others, not even friends or family, and recommend that all users set up two-step verification for added security.
“And if you receive a suspicious message (even if you think you know who it’s from), calling or requesting a voice note is the fastest and simplest way to check someone is who they say they are. A friend in need is a friend worth calling.”
WhatsApp scam attacks are carried out by cyber gangs through unsolicited messages sent to thousands of people every day.
Several scams have been circulating on the highly popular app recently – including one pretending to be the target’s child asking for money urgently.
Messages like these are sent out en masse in the hopes of capturing vulnerable people who can be hoodwinked into believing their family members are in trouble and in urgent need of money.