Fraudsters are currently attempting to deny users access to their Messenger account in WhatsApp and using a suspected verification code. FOCUS Online explains what you need to know now.
According to the portal “Mimikama. At”, fraudsters on WhatsApp are trying to take over users’ accounts by disguising themselves as supposed friends or acquaintances from their contact list.
The scamming scheme works as follows:
An already hijacked WhatsApp account, in which your number is stored in the contacts, requests a verification code from your mobile phone number.
This is received by SMS on your smartphone. The message contains a six-digit code and a link.
The fraudsters then ask users via WhatsApp to forward this code to them – and thus hijack the account.
Beware of this message in WhatsApp
According to reports from affected WhatsApp users, fraudulent messages often look like this:
“Hey, can you give me a hand?”
“You’re about to get a text. Can you forward me the code in the message?”
The code as well as the link that you receive in the SMS, however, should never be forwarded to other contacts. Because with the verification code, other users can take over the entire account on their smartphone – and you lose access to your account.
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WhatsApp code is used to transfer the account to another device
The system is used to restore your WhatsApp account or transfer it to another device. In the code scam, the scammers select the WhatsApp profile in the contacts that they want to move with the code. Forward the system to the criminals, verify the transfer of your WhatsApp account to their number, reports “Mimikama.at”.
However, this will only work if the fraud profile has also been previously transferred. WhatsApp provides more tips on this under the heading “Stolen Accounts”. Users should, therefore, also inform their contacts when they receive such a message to draw attention to the hack.
If users have forwarded the verification code to another contact after all, “Mimikama.at” recommends that they immediately warn their own contacts via SMS that they might receive strange messages via WhatsApp. Afterwards, you will have to restore your account.
How WhatsApp users restore their account
Log in to WhatsApp with your phone number and confirm your phone number by entering the six-digit code received via SMS.
Once the six-digit SMS code is entered, the person using your account will be automatically logged out according to WhatsApp.
You may also be asked to enter the code for verification in two steps. If you do not know the system, the person using your account may have enabled two-step verification. In this case, you will have to wait seven days to log in in two steps without the code from the check.
Do fraudsters use WhatsApp Web?
There are times when you’re not sure if fraudsters are using your WhatsApp account on a computer, for example, via applications like WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp for Desktop. The service recommends logging off from all computers via the smartphone if there is a suspicion that the user is using the account:
- Open WhatsApp on your phone
- Open Menu/Settings > WhatsApp Web
- Log off from all computers
Also, WhatsApp users are notified when someone tries to register a WhatsApp account using their phone number.