WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps with over 2 billion users globally. So it’s no surprise that it’s become a target for fraudsters. In 2021 alone, 59% of Brits reported receiving a message-based scam, 13% of which were via WhatsApp. 

Here are some common scams to look out for:

  1. Suspicious links

Some con artists will pose as delivery services or well-known brands, alerting you to a missed package or special offer. The message will contain a link that, if clicked, will either enable them to hack into your phone directly or elicit personal information. 

  1. Unexpected verification codes 

Another common trick fraudsters use to request a 6-digit code verification code for your phone number from WhatsApp. They will then contact you, posing as customer support, requesting the code. They can use this to hijack your WhatsApp and communicate with contacts posing as you.

  1. Requests for money 

Some scammers might pose as a friend or family member requesting money. To justify the unknown number they’ll pretend they’ve lost their phone, or it’s run out of battery, and are using someone else’s. 

  1. WhatsApp “mod”

There are some unofficial versions of WhatsApp available on the web. These can be tempting as they come with extra features, but they can also invite malware. This allows hackers to purchase subscriptions, intercept texts, and more via your phone.

How to avoid WhatsApp scams

  • Always download WhatsApp from official app stores
  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited messages – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Verify requests for money by calling the requestor. Especially if they’re messaging from an unknown number
  • Never share your 6-digit verification code, even with friends and family
  • Use two-step verification wherever you can for extra security