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WhatsApp has become a hotbed of scams where fake news promises a cash reward for participating in surveys or malicious links that take users to unreliable websites.
However, now that most people are aware of these types of threats, it is easy to see why fraudsters are changing their tactics and why some users are being deceived again.
Instead of sending a message with the promise of a fake link or cash prize, fraudsters are now trying to steal money by making things more personal.
As found by the always trusted WABetainfo team that meticulously monitors everything that happens on WhatsApp, criminals now seem to be sending chats aimed at developing relationships with users.
The chat often begins with a simple message, “Sorry, who are you? I found you in my address book.” If they get an answer, the fraudster will try to win the trust of the WhatsApp user and try to extract more and more personal data, which could endanger the victim.
In an effort to find out more, the team at WABetainfo decided to play with the fraudsters and see what personal data they want to get.
Thieves who chatted for a long time started asking people to add friends on personal accounts like Facebook and Instagram. If they allow this, it will provide access to the full list of people’s friends and close contacts.
It is believed that fraudsters using software such as Photoshop will use this to intimidate the victim by threatening to send them the hurtful images they received or create fake images.
It is not clear how many users have been targeted in this latest scam, but the Express team recently received a similar chat.
“Hello, it seems I do not know you, but I do not know why you are on my friends list. This is very strange,” the message read. When there was no response, another message was sent: “Your number came from the UK, are you British?”
And if you get any WhatsApp chats from strangers, it is wise to delete the chat without replying and without delay.