WhatsApp Scams: Protecting You, Your Family & Friends


Before delving into any specifics, know one thing: no app is ever 100% safe and secure. Hackers will always search for new ways of infecting phones. The best one can do is always update to the latest version of the app, ensuring it will have the most recent security features.

NEVER Share Passwords

Never, share your passwords or security codes via message. No company with your interests at heart will ever ask you for them via message. When securing your account, it’s WhatsApp that will send you such a code. You input only when prompted to do so on a secure screen, as shown below. Two-factor authentication further helps secure your account.

Some common messages not to be trusted that people receive are as follows:

“Your WhatsApp account will expire in 2 days. You need to renew it by sending the code we sent via SMS.”
“The WhatsApp Team needs to know if you’re really a human: send the 6-digit code in this chat you just received via SMS.”
“[WHATSAPP]: we have detected unusual activity in your account. Please confirm your identity with the verification code.”

Asking for a friend

Further to this, if a contact’s phone has been compromised, you might receive a message from them asking for help. The message will probably suggest that they have been locked out of their account, and need your help getting back in. They’ll say that they asked WhatsApp to send you a verification code, and you need to share it with them. It’s a scam, and sharing this code will allow the scammer to take over your phone.

If you do receive suspicious messages from friends and contacts, give them a call to find out what’s going on. Also keep in mind that WhatsApp is free of charge. There is no subscription or renewal fee, so do not send any money if asked to do.

Question everything

If you receive a link that you either think is suspicious, is sent without context, says you’ve won something, do not open it. Sometimes, you’ll get a gut feeling that something’s not right. Trust that feeling.

If there’s something we missed, or you’re not sure about a message you’ve received, let us know in the comments!