Do not trust someone who writes to you as your friend. Never share the code sent by the company.
It is becoming more and more common for hackers or scammers to steal WhatsApp accounts, a method that has become common in Venezuela, and then impersonate and sell dollars or ask for money for donations.
That is why it is important to have several security measures in place so that no one steals your account,
One of the most common ways to steal your account is to send a message with a 6-digit code that WhatsApp sends to your phone. Getting caught is very easy, but avoiding deception can also be easy if you know the trick and be alert.
How do they steal accounts?
SMS with digital codes is nothing new in this messaging app. This system verifies the identity of the person who wants to access their WhatsApp account from a new cell phone.
When it changes, users must backup all their chats and files to the cloud, install the app on the new device and indicate their phone number.
WhatsApp sends an SMS to the user to enter the received code in the app and thus start using the chats again after downloading the copy made earlier.
If the code falls into the wrong hands, someone else can open the account on any phone and steal all private conversations and data of the owner of this account. This is why this symbol should never be given to anyone, not even the person you trust the most.
Trust is the key to deception
After receiving the SMS with the code, which the user did not request in this case because he did not change his mobile phone, he receives a message from a friend or any trusted person requesting the code.
In fact, the person on the other end of the phone is not the one the victim knows, your friend’s account has been hacked previously.
Cybercriminals steal an account or phone in other ways, register the numbers in the contact list and start giving these numbers to WhatsApp so that the application sends the code via SMS, thinking that it is the user who wants to change the mobile phone.
The SMS is obviously being sent to the device as the SIM card associated with this phone is embedded. This is where criminals represent this contact so that the future victim trusts and gives her the token.
“Criminals are aware that their victims trust their contacts and many see no reason to suspect such a message, if the sender is a trusted person,” they emphasized from security firm Eset.
Consequences of theft
The moment the code is shared, the cybercriminals embed it in their WhatsApp app so that the stolen account is unlocked in front of them. Thus they can access a new list of contacts and phone numbers to continue stealing the chain.
Immediately, the victim is kicked out of the app, because WhatsApp only allows its services to be used from a primary device and to associate that account with other devices using a QR code that must be read with the app.
Chats disappear on all devices where the person has linked the account.
You have to take into account the amount of personal information that can be shared through the chats, and the data that hackers can use to do more harm.
They may send links or files containing malware, or even launch targeted attacks to a contact pretending that we are providing confidential information.
How to restore WhatsApp?
But, if you have already fallen into the conspiracy, how should you act? To reverse theft, the moment the legitimate account holder is kicked out, that person must uninstall and reinstall the app.
When we open it, we indicate the phone number so that WhatsApp can send us an SMS with a new code, and this time we will not share it with anyone.
We enter the code and recover the account, WhatsApp will immediately expel the cybercriminals. If this is done quickly enough, the disaster may not be so great.
Another option offered by WhatsApp is to report the theft by sending an email to WhatsApp Support with “Stolen/Lost Phone: Please deactivate my account” with the phone number attached including the international country code.
The app deactivates the account so criminals can’t access it, and they are given 30 days to try to recover it by asking for a recovery code.
protect your account
Avoiding getting into this situation is easier than it might seem. Anyone can be a victim of a computer attack at some point, and not believing themselves immune to these traps is the first step to being more vigilant, as every day attackers design more elaborate methods to deceive users.
Learning about the latest attack techniques is also an effective way to find out when you are dealing with a scam, which is a very interesting proposition, so as not to trust your friends.
Finally, Eset recommends activating the two-step verification system that WhatsApp has enabled. Even if the criminals get the SMS code, WhatsApp will ask for a second verification with the PIN of your choice and you should not share it with anyone.
The process is as follows: Settings > Account > Two-step verification.
This way you create an additional barrier that makes it more difficult for scammers.
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