WhatsApp scam could leave you locked out of account
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) yesterday warned WhatsApp users here of a new scam on the messaging platform.
Affected users could potentially lose access to their accounts, while those in their contact list may be duped into purchasing online gift cards.
In an advisory, the police said they received reports of WhatsApp accounts being taken over by scammers.
Victims would first receive a WhatsApp message from one of their contacts, whose account may have already been compromised.
The message will request for their WhatsApp account verification code, which is sent via SMS.
Once the code has been sent to the scammers, the user will lose access to his WhatsApp account.
WhatsApp users receive a verification code when they try to log in for the first time on a new device.
If a WhatsApp user receives this code while already logged in, then it might be that someone else is trying to access his account by inputting the user's mobile number.
Police said in overseas cases, scammers used the compromised accounts to deceive the victim's contacts into buying online gift cards, then sending over the password for the cards.
These cards would then be resold by the scammers for a profit.
Urging people to be wary of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, the police advised users to enable two-step verification, which prevents others from compromising your account.
They also recommended calling the friends or family members to verify the authenticity of requests.
Anyone with more information on such scams can call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or dial 999 for urgent police assistance.
To seek scam-related advice, members of the public may call the National Crime Prevention Council's anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg.