World’s most popular instant messaging (IM) and voice-over-IP (VoIP) service platform, WhatsApp has issued an urgent warning to its 2 billion+ users to ignore and block messages from a fishy account in the disguise of “support accounts”.
There are hundreds of millions of users worldwide who use WhatsApp’s messaging system daily to interact with their family and friends. However, it has been realized that there is a scam on the app that lures people in and asks them to disclose their private information.
This issue was highlighted on WhatsApp blog WABetaInfo wherein several screenshots were shared by a Discord user who explained how the fraudsters are using a verified badge in their profile picture to cheat gullible users.
WhatsApp issued a warning to its users to ignore messages from a fake account
These fraudsters are using profile pictures so that they look verified and official, however, there is a simple technique to differentiate between a real/genuine account and a fake/fraud one.
The real account will have a green verified tick adjacent to its name whereas the fake one doesn’t have.
The WhatsApp team has shared a couple of pictures comparing a real WhatsApp support interaction and a duplicate one.
They wrote, “This is the case of a user from my Discord Server, shimon128. After receiving a suspicious message from a WhatsApp account that pretended to be from WhatsApp Support, he reported the contact because it was a fake account that wanted to steal some information.”
Differentiating between a Real and a Fake account
WhatsApp team added, “Some of these accounts set a particular profile photo that contains a verified badge so they may be able to people.” They went on to explain and elaborate on how to ensure if you are indeed in interaction with a verified account on WhatsApp.
The verified user will have a verified tick badge adjacent to his name in their conversation screen and chat info.
Most likely the fraudster will ask for your six-digit verification code so that they can access your account and even go to the extent of asking for details of your credit card. The Meta-owned company has requested users to refrain from sharing any kind of financial information and report them.
The blog writer further elaborated that a genuine verified account will never seek information pertaining to credit cards or two-step verification process or any personal confidential data.
How to report and block the fraud account on WhatsApp?
There is an option to block and report the fraudster within WhatsApp, which will alert the backend WhatsApp support team about the issue. The history of the last five messages will then be shared with the moderation team so that they can investigate and remove the fraud account from its platform.
This issue is not specific to WhatsApp alone as highlighted in the blog post. In this era of digital technology and social media, there are several ways to cheat users by fake accounts. This can be from cold call scammers or via bot accounts.
It is always prudent to stay alert and report any suspicious activity. Please pass on this information to your friends and well-wishers so that they don’t fall prey to these fraudsters.
If you happen to receive any such message please ignore it and delete the text as soon as possible.
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