It’s well-known that scammers like to use instant messaging apps to scam and impersonate, falling many people into their traps. In this post, we’ll explore how WhatsApp impersonation scams happen, and why WhatsApp family scams would be more successful from a scammer’s perspective.
Why Does It Always Happen on WhatsApp?
Many reasons make WhatsApp an interesting app for scammers:
- A popular Messaging App!: According to bankmycell.com, “WhatsApp Business has reached 3,031.23 million users in 2024.” This vast number of active users makes it the ideal platform for spreading spam and phishing messages, as scammers aim to reach as many potential victims worldwide as possible.
- The easiest way!: Creating a new WhatsApp account is easy and convenient for everyone. You can sign up in moments just using your phone number. Additionally, WhatsApp has added a new feature to log in to multiple accounts in the same app. This will be extremely useful for social media managers and people who have more than one account. However, this feature is also going to be advantageous for scammers.
- Anonymity: It requires less information from new users compared to other instant messaging apps. That’s why scams on WhatsApp have increased incredibly.
Read Also: “Best 9 Network Security Tips You Should Try“
WhatsApp impersonation scams Techniques 2024
There are two main methods: fake results on the Google search engine and social engineering.
Social Engineering – Scams on WhatsApp
Social Engineering has become increasingly popular for fraud. For those unfamiliar with the term, Social Engineering is a technique used by malicious individuals to manipulate others into divulging confidential information, performing actions, or making decisions they wouldn’t typically do under normal circumstances.
It involves exploiting human psychology rather than exploiting software vulnerabilities. There are numerous tricks scammers use to deceive victims. For example, consider a scenario where someone you trust sends you a message on WhatsApp from a new number, claiming to be in urgent need of money because they lost their phone.
They might say something like, “Hello, I’m Mohammed. This is my new number, and I urgently need some money. Can you please help me out?” (picture1: WhatsApp-impersonation-scam.png) I believe that while this trick may not fool you, other people could easily fall victim to this type of scam, especially the WhatsApp impersonation family scam. Don’t you believe your sister or one of your parents crying on WhatsApp to send money??!
Fake WhatsApp Web Google Results are Ranking!
According to pcgamer.com, scammers are purchasing top spaces in Google search results as advertisements. They create their own fake websites and pay for Google ads to appear at the top of search results! (picture2: scam-on-whatsapp.jpg) This is extremely dangerous because it allows scammers to target many people who are searching for WhatsApp Web to scan the barcode and log in to their accounts. Additionally, it provides attackers with access to steal chats!
Read more: “What is Data Quality Management DQM? Type and Tips“
Why Do scammers impersonate your family?
Well, scammers typically try to impersonate your family for these reasons: Emotional Manipulation: Malicious actors exploit the emotions of their targets by pretending to be a loved one in distress, thus increasing the likelihood of the victim complying with their demands. Trust: People are more likely to trust someone they believe to be a family member. Scammers leverage this trust to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information or sending money. Familiarity: Impersonating a family member allows scammers to gather personal details about the target more easily. They may reference shared experiences or family members to make their story more convincing.
Is it easy to spot a WhatsApp impersonation scam?
Scammers become more intelligent! Spotting WhatsApp impersonation scams in 2024 without taking action is increasingly difficult due to the availability of AI tools. It’s incredibly easy to generate very convincing messages free of grammatical errors using ChatGPT in just a few seconds.
And it’s not just limited to text messages. The alarming fact is that scammers can now even impersonate someone’s voice using AI. Imagine receiving a message from what appears to be your dad’s new number, and when you call to confirm, you hear his voice. But in reality, it’s a fake voice! You see how is this dangerous!?
Read more about: “What Are the Top AI Predictions for 2024?“
Defend yourself against WhatsApp impersonation scams
Defending yourself is necessary, not only against WhatsApp impersonation family scams but also against every type of WhatsApp scam. Awareness is crucial. Implement the following strategies to protect yourself from scammers:
Avoid payments Requested in WhatsApp
Trusting unknown numbers in WhatsApp is not a good idea, Be aware of unusual messages from suspicious phone numbers. Don’t believe everything on WhatsApp because it’s full of scammers and fraud. Only confirm payments by calling the number or meeting the person whom you are contracting with if it’s possible.
Watch Out Your Clicks in Fake WhatsApp Web Pages
Some ads are triggering victims to scammers traps be extremely sure while using WhatsApp web, Make sure to choose the correct domain (web.whatsapp.com).
Summing It Up
Staying updated on the latest scams in WhatsApp is crucial to protect yourself from fraud. In case you get scammed, then you should promptly report the scam on WhatsApp or local police to take the necessary actions this will help you a lot to mitigate further risks. And remember that awareness is key in defending against any cybersecurity attacks.