BILLIONS of WhatsApp users have been warned over a new phishing scam that hands over all private messages to cyber crooks.
Police have urged people to be on the lookout for fake WatsApp Web websites.
Users often access their accounts on desktops using the official website on search engines like Google.
You can type ‘web.whatsapp.com’ into your computer’s internet browser and then enter a special code to unlock the app.
Once you in the site you have to scan a QR code from your phone to access your account.
But scammers have now been spotted using fake WhatsApp Web sites.
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Cops said that some phishing websites are embedded with a genuine QR code taken from the official website.
The Singapore Police Force said: “Victims would click on the first few search results generated by online search engines without verifying the URL addresses due to convenience.”
When victims scan the codes, the websites become unresponsive and are then redirected to a fake site instead of their personal accounts.
Scammers will then sneak into victim’s accounts and pretend to be them.
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They can message your contacts and ask for personal data and online bank details.
And they can even request for cash to be transferred to a bank account.
Victims can still access their accounts while crooks gather their personal details.
And it can take a long time before they realise they have been scammed.
The police explained: “The victims will only discover their accounts have been compromised when they are notified by their contacts of unusual requests.”
Users are now urged to take preventive measures to avoid the scam.
They recommended to always double-check if you are using the official WhatsApp desktop app.
Red flags to look out for in the WhatsApp scam
The scammer first contacts someone with a “Hi mum” or “Hi dad” message which appears to be from their child.
They then try to persuade the recipient that their account has been compromised and they need to transfer cash to a friend or family member to keep their“safe”.
The victim will be provided with details of an account which will be controlled by the fraudster or a money mule, and told to ask their friend or family member to transfer the money on to the other account.
Once the money has been transferred to the new account, the fraudster can cut off all contact and the victim will be unable to access their funds.
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It comes as users were warned over a new scam doing the rounds that lets hackers take over their entire account.