Scams usually develop over time, and it seems that this novelty, which also includes WhatsApp, is especially difficult to fight, because with a simple message you are robbed of all sensitive data.
The authorities have already set out to understand how to prevent the damage caused by this new scam, which is on the messaging app most used among Italians. Attackers, through a message, can gain access to the phone’s owner’s entire address book, steal data and violate privacy.
How does the WhatsApp scam work
Attempts to scam are now common, but compared to the past few years, the techniques used seem more advanced and therefore it is difficult to identify the perpetrators to prosecute.
In this case, the scam involves the use of WhatsApp, but we should not forget that many messaging platforms (messenger, skype, telegram, discord) or buying and selling sites used (on the spot, ebay, market) are high-risk scams. So it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes open, so you don’t risk losing everything.
Recent news has become aware of this new method that a hacker spreads between phones to steal accounts, address book contacts and other sensitive data.
The peculiarity of this scam lies in the fact that falling into its trap is enough to respond to an initially harmless message.
The text can easily come from a contact who is already in the address book (previously stolen from the account) and who you are likely to trust. The message sentence reads a version similar to: “Hey, I sent you a code by mistake, can you send it to me again?” Here, many people fall victim to the scam because they surely write from the identity of the sender the required code and send it.
The code, unfortunately, is the one that WhatsApp uses to identify the account holder in case you go to install the app on a new mobile phone. By referring the code, you will lose access to WhatsApp and thus you will lose your data, and the privacy of the contacts on the phone is also violated.
What do I do if I receive this message?
The first thing to do to avoid losing everything is to not respond and warn the sender (through a means of communication other than WhatsApp) that their phone is in danger.
After this, the fraud can be reported to the police, by submitting a report to the Postal Police or via the website www.commisariatodips.it.
If you have already answered the message by mistake, it is necessary to warn the contacts in the address book to stop phishing attempts.
“Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Freelance organizer. Avid analyst. Friendly troublemaker. Bacon junkie.”