Education

Be Wary Of 'Friends' Asking For WhatsApp Codes, Or You Might Lose Your Account

Another day, another scam.

In a crime advisory posted yesterday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) warns of a “resurgence” of scams involving the takeover of WhatsApp accounts.

SPF shared with the public the modus operandi of the scammers alongside some WhatsApp screenshots victims have received.

They explained that in this scam, a victim would receive a WhatsApp message from a friend whose WhatsApp account has been compromised.

The ‘friend’ would then request the victim to send over a 6-digit WhatsApp verification code to them.

The verification code is typically used by WhatsApp to verify a new phone number or device.

How WhatsApp verification usually works

If the victim provides the scammers with the 6-digit code, he or she would thereafter lose access to his or her WhatsApp account.

SPF advises the following:

  1. Do not share your account verification codes with anyone;
  2. Beware of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by your WhatsApp contacts;
  3. Always call your friend to verify the authenticity of the request, but do not do so through the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers;
  4. Protect your WhatsApp account by enabling the ‘Two-Step Verification’ feature, which is available under ‘Account’ in the ‘Settings’ tab of your WhatsApp application. This will prevent others from compromising your WhatsApp account;
  5. In the event that your WhatsApp account has been taken over by a scammer, you can recover the account by signing into your WhatsApp using your phone number and authenticate by entering the verification PIN which you will receive on your phone. The scammer which is using your account will automatically be logged out thereafter.

Those who wish to provide more information can call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

For urgent Police assistance, users can dial ‘999’.

 

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