Beware of this new WhatsApp scam

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, has received over 60 reports of this type of fraud.

The scam commences when a criminal gets access to another WhatsApp account which has you listed as a contact and will then send normal messages to try and start a conversation with you.

However, around the same time you will receive a text message from WhatsApp with a six-digit code – this is because the criminal has been trying to login to WhatsApp using your mobile number. 

The fraudster will then claim that they have sent you their code by accident and will ask you to send it to them.

Once they have this code, they can login to your WhatsApp account and can lock you out.

Scammers can then use this same tactic with your WhatsApp contacts in an effort to steal more accounts and use them to perpetrate fraud.

Tips to avoid this WhatsApp scam

•  Set up two-step verification to give an extra layer of protection to your account: Tap Settings > Account >Two-step verification > Enable.

•   If a family member or friend makes an unusual request on WhatsApp, always call the person to confirm their identity.

•  Never share your account’s activation code (that’s the 6 digit code you receive via SMS)  

•  You can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp. Press and hold on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud or 0300 123 2040.

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