In recent news, a new WhatsApp scam has come around which locks users out of their own accounts after they fall for the scam. According to numerous users, they received messages claiming to be after a six-digit code.
The victims would then receive a message from a friend which states the following:
“Hello, sorry, I sent you a 6-digit code by mistake, can you pass it to me please? It’s urgent?”
If you send the code you’ll give these hackers complete access to your account. This code is generated when you update your device. The mere purpose of this code is for users to get a hold of their archived messages.
WARNING: WHATSAPP SCAM
3 members of my family have lost access to their WhatsApp this morning!
Hackers send a text message from WA with a verification code, then a WhatsApp text from someone you know saying they desperately need the code.
DO NOT SEND THE CODE OR CLICK THE LINK pic.twitter.com/T8dqPydH3N
— Tommy Wathen (@tommywathen) May 18, 2021
According to one of the users who lost their account:
“Three members of my family have lost access to their WhatsApp this morning. Hackers send a text message from WA with a verification code, then a WhatsApp text from someone you know saying they desperately need the code. Do not send the code or click the link.”
Moreover, Ray Walsh Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy stated the following:
“WhatsApp users need to be on the lookout for a worrying new scam that is allowing cybercriminals to hack into people’s WhatsApp accounts. Anybody who receives a message out of the blue with a one-time PIN code should be extremely wary because this is how the attack starts.
Following the receipt of the unexpected OTP code, the hacker will send the victim a direct message claiming to be their friend or contact. They will then ask to be forwarded the code by claiming to have mistakenly sent it to them.
That code is actually the two-factor authentication code for accessing the victim’s WhatsApp account, and once the victim forwards it to the hacker they will use it to hack into their account.
Always be on the lookout for any text messages that contain an OTP code and never, ever forward or screenshot or otherwise pass those codes on to anybody, no matter how genuine they sound.“
So far Facebook has not provided any security updates in regards to this issue but users are to be very cautious about such scam messages and are advised not to share their codes with anyone.