Scammers have no honour: They will pretend to be anyone and say anything they have to in order to get you to give up your personal information. Their latest trick involves impersonating WhatsApp ‘support’ in order to steal your credit card information and break into your messaging account. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Here’s what to look out for.
As reported by WABetaInfo, scammers are impersonating WhatsApp employees in an attempt to lure users into a false sense of security. After all, if you think you’re talking to an official WhatsApp account, you might feel more comfortable sharing personal information or financial data. The scammers, who have a verification checkmark in their profile picture, will inform you your WhatsApp account is at risk of termination, and, in order to preserve the account, you will need to provide “support” with a valid credit card number. For additional “proof,” they might also ask for your two-factor authentication code. Classic WhatsApp support, just trying to be helpful.
Here’s the deal: WhatsApp support would never ask you for these things. Ever. WhatsApp is free. The app’s support team will not ask for your credit card information just to keep your account from being terminated. In addition, you should never hand out your two-factor authentication code to anybody, on WhatsApp or otherwise. Two-factor codes are essentially temporary passwords that prove you have access to a trusted device to sign into an account. You should only type in this code yourself when you are trying to log into an account that uses them
Scammers know they can’t break into accounts with 2FA enabled without these codes, so they pretend to be from the company or app in question, hoping to make you feel safe enough that you will share those numbers. Don’t do it.
Don’t be fooled by the profile picture, either: Official WhatsApp accounts have the verification checkmark next to their contact name, not in their avatar. Scammers can’t add a verification check to their name, so they slap it on a profile picture and hope nobody thinks twice. WABetaInfo has a great side-by-side showing off the difference if you want to see for yourself.
I’ll give these scammers props for thinking to put a verification check in their profile picture, but, otherwise, I give them an F. This entire ruse reeks of scam from top-to-bottom. In 2022, I expect more from people looking to trick me into sharing my personal information. If you encounter this obvious scam on your end, stop the conversation immediately and report the account to WhatsApp support — real WhatsApp support — for good measure.