In this article, we will take a look at several tactics used by virtual scammers on the WhatsApp messaging platform.
WhatsApp has more than a billion users. In other words, one in six people in the world uses this messaging system. This represents a LOT of people.
This also means that it can attract lusts, and acts as a delicious honey pot for scammers. You only have to “have” a small fraction of these users to win big.
WhatsApp fraudsters generally try to persuade you to send your personal details in order to usurp your identities (name, first name, address, invoice…).
Others want you to install a virus – malicious software – on your phone. The latter can then spy on you and collect information that can be used for questionable practices.
So, what should you be careful about not getting caught?
Asda WhatsApp Scam
Don’t be fooled – the message comes from a friend, but the offer is not real (Image: James Andrews/Mirror.co.co.uk)
A classic scam. Fraudsters regularly send fake coupons from large companies such as Asda, Tesco, Nike, Amazon…. on WhatsApp.
The messages look like they were sent from one of your current contacts, but the name is actually wrong and created from scratch to encourage you to click on the URL to retrieve your coupon.
The message says: “Hello, ASDA is offering £250 vouchers to celebrate its 68th anniversary, click here to get it. Enjoy it and thank me later! »
But this merchant site actually does not offer any discount vouchers. The only true thing in this message is that, indeed, ASDA is celebrating its 68th anniversary. That’s all. That’s all.
There are two signs that this message is a scam. On the one hand, spelling and grammatical errors. On the other hand, the URL address has a “strange” character. The “d” does not correspond to a normal “d” – and for good reason, it is not a normal “d”! The domain name is actually a fake!
Alert-note]Technical note: This technique is based on internationalized domain names (IDNs) and generally uses Punycode[/alert-note].
One way to check is to enter the address manually (http://www.asda.com/mycoupon). This way, you will avoid running into a fraudulent domain name, and you will be able to check that the “mycoupon” page does exist.
In fact, when you click on this link, you are redirected to a phishing site (i. e. a site that imitates the design of the real site) that imitates the Asda site and asks you for your personal information.
The voice message
A voice message has been left for you. What the hell is that? Who is it? Who is it? You just have to click on the very large “Listen” button to listen to the message.
But rather than revealing the origin of this mysterious call, the button takes you to a suspicious site that encourages you to install a virus on your phone.
The site Hoax Slayer warns: “Be very careful with every email that claims you have a voice message from WhatsApp with a button to listen to it. Normal” WhatsApp voice messages are delivered from the application itself and not by a separate message.
WhatsApp users are manipulated by fraudsters and encouraged to install a fake version of WhatsApp that infects their Android device with a virus.
The “secret” message sent to users claims that you have an exclusive chance to download “WhatsApp Gold”.
This site claims to offer an improved version of WhatsApp with more features, used by stars. Victims are urged to register via the link provided. WhatsApp notes that they “will never send messages asking users to update WhatsApp or install another application”.
After clicking on the link, you will be redirected to a fake page and your Android device will be infected with a virus.
If you have already clicked on the link, you can install an Antivirus software to help you remove it from your phone. Sophos or Avast can be mentioned for example.
The application to read someone’s WhatsApp messages
You land on an application to spy on WhatsApp and allow you to read someone’s WhatsApp messages remotely. You’ve always wondered what your friends really think, and now you can know it. You download the link provided without thinking.
Error! Error! There is a good chance that this application is actually a virus. The only functional method I know of for spying WhatsApp is detailed in this article. The reason for this is that this kind of service is anyway online based (so why should you have something installed rather than accessing the service directly online? ) and that it requires the power of a web server, which you don’t have on a simple Android device.
WhatsApp’s advice about scams
Needless to say, the team behind WhatsApp doesn’t like this kind of fraud on their platform. WhatsApp’s official blog warns users to be very careful with messages where:
- The sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp
- The message contains instructions to transmit it
- The message claims that you can avoid violations, such as account suspension, if you forward the message.
- The message contains a reward or gift that is too attractive