In a new form of cybercrime, fraudsters are attempting to hijack WhatsApp accounts by requesting the OTP from users via phone calls or SMS. These accounts are then used to perpetrate various crimes.
Phone calls are being used to conduct the scam under the guise of ‘WhatsApp Support Survey’. Fraudsters will begin the process of creating a duplicate WhatsApp account on the caller’s number during the conversation itself. In the meantime, they will ask for the OTP. If the user provides them with the OTP, they will get access to their WhatsApp account.
Financial fraud is being committed using these accounts. Through this account, they seek financial assistance from friends and relatives of the users. They often transfer money since the request comes from their personal WhatsApp account.
Fraudsters are also sending obscene posters. When a user is found to have fallen victim to such a scam, the police have instructed them to report it immediately to WhatsApp’s customer service department. Additionally, police ask that you do not share your OTP with anyone and turn on WhatsApp two-step verification.
How to stay safe from WhatsApp OTP scam
To save yourself from this scam, the best thing to do is to not share your OTP with a stranger unknown number under any circumstances. If you feel that your friend is really in an emergency, the best thing to do would be to directly call on the number and verify that the person messaging you and asking for the OTP is your friend. Secondly, For extra security, you can enable two-step verification that requires a PIN when registering your phone number with WhatsApp again. This is great to prevent unknown people from accessing your chats in case they can somehow get access to your OTP.