Haryana Police have alerted WhatsApp users about a new trend of cyber crime used by fraudsters for hijacking of WhatsApp accounts to carrying out financial transactions.
Advising the people to stay alert from such criminals, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Navdeep Singh Virk said that cyber criminals are resorting to new means to defraud targeted individuals and organizations as many activities have moved online after the COVID-19 situation. In this new kind of cyber crime, the accused trick the gullible people by takeover their WhatsApp account and use it for communicating with their friends and family members for carrying out financial transactions.
Explaining the modus operandi, Virk added, “First, the hacker creates a fake account and put the official WhatsApp logo as display picture posing to be the account of WhatsApp technical team. Then the attackers messages to the target asking to share the six-digit verification code to verify their identity. As the message appears to be from WhatsApp technical team, the target easily gets tricked and shares the verification PIN. The hackers use the information to log into the target’s WhatsApp account from their device to further send fraudulent messages to friends and family of victim asking for money, PIN, OTP etc”.
Virk also outlined a series of preventive and precautionary measures and advised the users never share verification code sent with anyone for any reason. He also suggested activating ‘two-step verification’ for social media accounts. “This will enhance the security of their account and even if the attacker gets access to verification code, a password will still be needed to successfully log into the account. Never respond to anyone’s messages asking for PIN or OTP as social media applications never call or send messages for such information. Apart from this, users immediately re-verify their WhatsApp account if they share the six-digit verification PIN with anyone”, ADGP Virk added.
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