In a news statement last April 18, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) have confirmed reports of scammers taking over hacked WhatsApp accounts to take advantage of other unsuspecting users.
The victims would receive a message via WhatsApp from one of their contacts whose account may have been hacked. The message would request the user for their WhatsApp verification code which they have received via SMS.
Reported Scams Using Hacked WhatsApp Accounts Discovered by Singapore Police
As per police investigation, once the unknowing victims forward their WhatsApp verification codes to the scammer, they eventually lose access to their accounts.
The SPF have also found a variation to the scamming procedure overseas where scammers were believed to have taken over compromised WhatsApp accounts to trick the account holder’s contacts into buying gift cards and sending their verification codes in exchange for the gift cards – only to find out later on that the scammers have already sold the gift cards on-line.
In response to this situation, the SPF advised the public to be wary of messages even if they were sent by one of their contacts, especially if the message contains a request to share sensitive or personal information that can be used against them. Also, you may call the sender personally to check whether the request is legitimate, and to enable the WhatsApp’s two-step verification option on their devices.
Individuals who can share more information regarding this particular type of scam are encouraged to reach out to authorities via the SPF trunkline 1800-255-0000, or by dialing 999 to request for immediate police support.
To find out more about this particular type of scam, or to get advice on what to do in case you encounter this type of issue, you may contact the National Crime Prevention Council’s Anti-Scam hotline at 1800-722-6688, or go to www.scamalert.sg.