The police headquarters of Lower Bavaria is currently warning of a scam aimed at taking over WhatsApp accounts. The background is the case of a 15-year-old girl whose WhatsApp account was hijacked by criminals.
This is how the scam works
You get a message via WhatsApp asking you to forward a 6-digit code. At the same time, you receive this 6-digit code via SMS.
The SMS code is the verification number to restore your WhatsApp account. The code was previously requested by the criminals.
If the 6-digit code gets into the hands of the criminals, they can remotely take over the victim’s WhatsApp account. As a result, you are locked out of your own WhatsApp account and lose access to it.
Subsequently, the criminals can impersonate the victim and lure other WhatsApp users into the trap.
How to protect yourself from the scam
To protect yourself from this scam, it is important not to share verification codes with other contacts. The same applies, of course, to SMS tans for online banking or other services.
In addition, it can be helpful to call the person who asked for the 6-digit code. Only with a personal conversation can you find out whether the WhatsApp message actually came from the contact.
In addition, you should inform the sender by phone, via another messenger or by SMS that his WhatsApp account is sending such messages. It is possible that the sender has already fallen victim to the scam.
Asked for nude pictures
In the case of the 15-year-old girl from Bavaria, the scammers pretended to be the teenager’s brother. When the criminals took over the girl’s account, they tried to get nude pictures of another 15-year-old girl. Fortunately, they did not succeed in this case, as the police of Lower Bavaria writes.
“Once the perpetrators behind this scam have come into possession of an account, a wide field of potential criminal activities opens up to them,” authorities said. Identity theft, spying on data, blackmail or even sending malware are conceivable, they said.
Fraud scheme already known
The fraud with the 6-digit SMS code is not new. Already in December, the State Criminal Police Office of Lower Saxony warned of this scam. The information platform Mimikama has also warned of the verification code scam in the past.
- source: futurezone.at/picture: pixabay.com
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