WhatsApp messages you need to delete now – never reply to them

SCAM is using increasingly cunning tactics to extort money from the pockets of unsuspecting WhatsApp fans.

According to experts, crooks are using a new form of attack to entice users of the US chat application by building relationships with them.

WhatsApp scammers are changing their tactics


WhatsApp scammers are changing their tacticsCredit: Alamy
Experts highlight text conversations with scammers in which crooks try to build a personal relationship with victims


Experts highlight text conversations with scammers in which crooks try to build a personal relationship with victimsCredit: WABetaInfo

WhatsApp has become a breeding ground for phishing campaigns, sent to thousands of people every day in an attempt to find their banking details.

The attacks often take the form of messages containing fake links or the promise of cash prizes.

However, according to a report from WhatsApp lovers at WABetaInfo, scammers are changing their tactics as users get smarter with their methods.

It seems criminals are getting more personal with their messages by trying to build a relationship with their victims before scamming them.

A message seen by WABetaInfo reads: “Sorry, who are you? I found you in my address book.”

Another similar phishing message read: “Hi, I don’t seem to know you, but I don’t know why you are on my friends list, which is very strange.”

Texts are sent to thousands of people. If the attackers receive a response, they will try to attract the victim by gaining their trust.

“They’re always nice to [sic] you because they want to earn your trust,” says WABetaInfo, a website dedicated to everything WhatsApp writes.

“They start asking for simple details, for example, what’s your name and job and how old you are, and they give you some compliments to make you feel good.”

Once the attacker has gained your trust, they ask to be added as a friend on personal accounts like Facebook and Instagram.

It is thought that they can use this information to blackmail you for your deposit or your bank details.

In some cases, scammers threaten to send intrusive photos that they may have managed to get hold of – or just created with photo editing software – to your friends and family unless you pay.

WABetaInfo has some sage advice for anyone who finds themselves the target of a WhatsApp scam.

They write: “You should ignore unknown contacts and do not share personal information such as your personal social accounts.

“You can also report contacts to WhatsApp from their contact information, but you can also report specific messages.”

This latest scam happened after users were also warned watch messages from unknown numbers are believed to come from friends or relatives.

According to UK fraud watchdog Action Fraud, the tactic has cost affected people a total of nearly £50,000 in dozens of reported cases last year.

Police are urging WhatsApp users to ignore requests to receive money from people using unknown numbers but claiming to be people you know.

On November 24th report, Action Fraud details how criminals are using the “friends in need” scam to trick people into parting with their hard earned money.

“Criminals often claim to be a family member and will often start conversations with ‘Hello Mom’ or ‘Hello Dad’,” the group wrote.

“They’ll say they’re texting from a new mobile number because their phone is lost or broken and will keep asking for money to buy a new phone or say they need the money urgently to pay the bill.

“The criminal will provide their bank details for payment, with some coming back asking for further money.

“Criminals have succeeded in their approach because they are exploiting the emotional vulnerability of the public in an attempt to defraud their victims.”

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