The RCIPS and the CIG Cyber Security Office are asking the public to be vigilant to a scam that is currently circulating commonly referred to as the WhatsApp Account Take-Over Scam.
If you fall victim to this scam, you will lose control of your WhatsApp account and the scammer would be free to send messages to your contacts, purporting to be you, until your account can be recovered.
How the account takeover scam works:
- The victim may be sent an SMS text message or WhatsApp message or receive a telephone call from an unknown mobile number or purporting to be somebody that is known to the victim.
- There have been reports of scammers using AI technology to imitate a person’s spoken voice; this is often referred to as Deep-Fake Audio.
- The message received by the victim, will be designed to be deliberately alarmist and require immediate action.
- The message will be asking the user to provide their WhatsApp 6-digit verification code.
- After providing the Scammer with the 6-digit verification code, the victim would lose access to their WhatsApp account.
- Thereafter, the Scammer will have complete control of the victim’s WhatsApp account and will be able to pretend to be the victim and send messages to the victim’s contact for the purpose of deception and fraud.
If you receive a message that appears to be suspicious, you should never:
- respond to suspicious messages,
- open any attachments,
- click on any link contained within the message or
- generate and send your WhatsApp 6-digit code to any person
If you have been targeted or have fallen victim to this scam, please report it to the RCIPS Cyber Crime Unit via email at RCIPSDFH@rcips.ky