Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

Beware: New WhatsApp scam can drain your bank accounts and lock you out of social media

WhatsApp screen share scams are on the rise, and here is how you can protect yourself from the new age cybercrime.

WhatsApp scamWhatsApp screen share scam is on the rise (Image credit: Pixabay/HeikoAL)

WhatsApp has become the centrepiece of our digital life. From staying connected with friends and family to making payments, it is undoubtedly a useful app to have. However, miscreants are now taking advantage of the wider WhatsApp audience to embark on financial fraud activities, and one such recent development is the WhatsApp screen share scam.

Digital scams usually involve victims sharing the OTP, also known as a one-time password, with scammers, which will then be used to take control of various online services for money transfers. With WhatsApp screen share scams, the victim does not have to do anything other than enable the screen share option, as requested by cybercriminals.

Once enabled, the miscreant will get access to your smartphone, which can then be used to access messages, which will also include OTPs.

WhatsApp Scams WhatsApp recently introduced screen share feature (Express Photo)

There are several reports of people losing their hard-earned money due to WhatsApp screen share scams. Not only that, people are also getting locked out of their own social media accounts, as someone could easily change or tweak the password remotely using this feature.

When screen sharing is enabled, scammers will have real-time access to your smartphone screen and they can read messages and OTPs that you might receive, which will be initiated by the cybercriminals.

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While screen mirroring scams are not new, the number of cases has skyrocketed since the same feature was announced natively on WhatsApp.

You can also follow these five tips directly from the top WhatsApp executive to keep your WhatsApp private and secure.


How to stay safe from WhatsApp scams?

Never accept a voice/video call from an unknown number on WhatsApp
Never share OTP, credit/debit card number, or CVV
Never disclose your password to anyone
Never accept screen share requests, unless you are sure

Even if you are receiving a call from a known number, make sure to take a voice call, confirm the identity, and then convert it into a video call. Also, always ensure that the screen-sharing option is not enabled. Once they gain access to your smartphone screen, there are numerous risks, which are not just limited to financial loss.

First published on: 24-12-2023 at 15:16 IST
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