This new form of fraud begins when the user receives a text message with a six-digit number on their phone. This supposedly comes from the WhatsApp platform itself. Shortly after, another message arrives, this time in the app and from the chat of one of his contacts.
“Hi, sorry, I mistakenly sent you a 6-digit code by SMS. Can you transfer it to me, please? It is urgent,” said British presenter Alexis Conran , who exposed the hack on his Twitter account.
Actually, at this point your friend’s account has already been hacked and you follow. “The scammers are now trying to hack all of your contacts. You are one of them,” added the actor and writer.
Conran explains that the first message comes to you because hackers are trying to configure WhatsApp with your number on a new device. Upon detection, the app sends a 6-digit authorization code to your cell phone via SMS.
If you fall into the trap and share this code with your WhatsApp “contact,” your account will be hacked.
To avoid being a victim of this type of fraud, you can activate two-step verification, proposes the presenter. Or, as soon as the suspicious message reaches you, you should contact your friend from another application other than WhatsApp (because it is already intervened) to confirm his identity.
While Alexis Conran’s post does not clarify the purpose of the hack, some cybercriminals are known to do it to ‘hijack’ users’ accounts and then extort money from them, promising to return them in exchange for some amount of money. In addition, with this they have access to all your contacts to replicate the system and continue looking for victims who fall for their ruse.