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PSA: SPF warns of resurgence of scams involving WhatsApp account takeovers

By Ng Chong Seng - on 5 Jun 2020, 3:36pm

PSA: SPF warns of resurgence of scams involving WhatsApp account takeovers

(Image: Screengrab from SPF's Facebook post.)

In a Facebook post today, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) warns of a resurgence of scams involving WhatsApp account takeovers.

As we reported before, such scams typically start with the victim receiving a WhatsApp message (from a contact whose WhatsApp account has already been compromised) that asks them to reply with the six-digit verification code sent to their phone. If this code is provided, the victim would subsequently lose access to their own WhatsApp account.

In fact, that’s only just the start. According to the SPF, scammers would then go on and pretend to be the victim and ask the victim’s WhatsApp contacts to send them their personal data, including their phone numbers and images of their bank cards. The excuse is that they need the info to help the victims register and claim prizes for fake lucky draws allegedly conducted by online marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10.

To repeat our and SPF’s previous tips, you should never share your verification code with anyone without verifying with the sender first — and that’s even if the request message seems to come from someone close to you. Actually, make this a habit for all OTPs you get.

Also, you should turn on WhatsApp’s two-step verification, so that when you realised your account is compromised, you can quickly sign back in and verify with the PIN to log out the scammer.

Source: Singapore Police Force Facebook page.

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