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Your WhatsApp account can be taken over by hackers after making a simple phone call. And with that, WhatsApp fraud is lurking. This scam is currently being warned. But is that actually true? How about that? In this article we explain it.
It is currently the most popular news on tech platform Androidworld.nl: a message warning about a telephone scam regarding WhatsApp. And Android Planet also reports and warns followers about this alleged scam.
By convincing the potential victim to make a simple call, hackers can take over their WhatsApp account in an instant, the story goes. Victims are thus locked out, immediately lose access to their account and hackers then make their move.
Warnings about this scam also appear here and there on Facebook. And the Fraud Helpdesk has also reported this scam on Twitter, although not via the company account, but via the director’s account.
First and foremost, it is of course always useful to warn people about possible forms of fraud, scams, deception and deception.
But in this specific case there are really a number of snags. In the story there are a number of elements based on which we think “it doesn’t seem likely that it happened the way it is described”.
Reason enough to take a look at what exactly is going on.
How would this WhatsApp scam trick work?
Tech website Androidworld states that this scam trick starts via the phone. More specifically in the form of a telephone conversation, that is.
The hacker or scammer on the other end of the line would convince people to enter a specific code on their keypad. Did that ever happen? Then these people are immediately logged out of WhatsApp and the hacker can take over the account.
The source of the message appears to be 91Mobiles.com, which has a similar warning. However, that is an Indian tech blog, so to what extent it is relevant for Dutch consumers in that regard remains to be seen. All the more reason to take a look at how the fork works exactly and to tell you whether you really have to worry.
If we continue reading at the source, we see something remarkable. This is not so much about entering a code, but about calling a telephone number. Victims must call a ten-digit telephone number with the prefix *67* of *405*.
And do they do this? Then they are immediately logged out of WhatsApp, and the hacker immediately has full control over the account to be able to cheat with it to their heart’s content. At least that’s the story.
Can you log out of WhatsApp by phone?
And it is precisely this last aspect that we have some doubts about. It is not possible at all to log out of WhatsApp, at least not in the mobile iOS or Android version. This is only possible in the browser version of WhatsApp.
There is simply no option in the app to log out on your phone. Do you close the app completely? Even then you will not be logged out, because the next time you open the app, you will see the most recent conversations again.
In theory you can ‘log out’ by manually clearing the cache and saved data in your phone’s settings, whether or not after backing up your conversation history. On Android you have to log in again the next time you open WhatsApp, on iOS you have to delete the app and install it again. But of course that’s not quite the same as ‘logging out’.
An alternative option to actually log out, so to speak, is through via Settings in Account to the option delete my account to go. But that, of course, is not what is meant here either.
But the fact that you are immediately ‘logged out’ by calling a simple phone number and subsequently lose control of your WhatsApp account, we really consider as doubtful. There has to be more going on for that scenario to happen.
What risks do you run?
A real possibility, on the other hand, is that you receive a verification code from WhatsApp without having asked for it. This can be the case, for example, if someone tries to register a WhatsApp account with your telephone number or tries to link your existing WhatsApp account to a new device.
In this scenario it may happen that after receiving this code you will be asked by telephone or text message to forward this code. However, it is very important that you never is doing. With this information, people can try to take over your account.
Perhaps this scenario is what is actually meant here and the phone scam being talked about is really an attempt to get this verification code from you. But that’s not how it was described.
How can you protect your WhatsApp account from hackers?
Fortunately, we have a handy, ready-made answer to that: switch two-step verification in.
Not too long ago we wrote a useful, practical help article about enabling two-step verification. Do you want to know how to enable two-step verification on WhatsApp? Then quickly read the article below!
Bron: Androidplanet.nl / Androidworld.nl / 91mobiles.com