WhatsApp is one of the fastest-growing instant messaging apps and has gripped the world. You will rarely find someone who does not use this application. The app is more than 14 years old and is still popular.
Over the years, more and more features have been added to WhatsApp, including security features. Thus, not only has the application increased the user experience, but it has also enhanced its security.
Several scammers are present online, ready to rip off their unwary prey on several other social media applications. WhatsApp is no exception when it comes to becoming a target for scammers.
As per a report by Statista released in October 2021, there were more than 2000 million WhatsApp users globally. In 2022, a total of more than 66 billion scam-related texts were sent using WhatsApp. Thus, it is quite easy to fall prey to such online scams.
So how does one protect themselves from the threat of falling prey to a WhatsApp scam?
In this article, we will guide you through using WhatsApp more effectively. We will also share common tactics that are quite prevalent with scammers so that you can avoid falling prey to them.
Everyone wishes to increase their financial holdings; there are no exceptions. We need money to survive since our basic needs are fulfilled by purchasing goods that have a price. If the amount of money is more, then we can upgrade our lifestyle, and it is not a crime to do so.
Many fall easy prey to scammers as they entice their victims through too-good-to-be-true financial investment schemes. With the current economic conditions, many are desperate to increase their financial holdings, as most are unemployed and the cost of living is increasing day by day.
Whatsapp scammers will send several text messages where they will assure you that you, as a customer, can increase your financial holdings by investing in forex, stocks, funds, and now even cryptos.
There are several ways scammers will try to entice their prey. No matter what the methodology, you need to watch out for a few things that can assure you that you are dealing with a scammer and not a genuine broker or brokerage firm.
Some scammers will impersonate investment agents and offer Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, or some other bogus scheme where the scammer will not reveal the workings of the investment plans but simply tell you that it is an awesome scheme and you should make the most of it.
They might show fake concerns regarding your financial status. You can find such scammers on dating apps. They will generally impersonate a successful businessperson and convince you to invest your money in some shady deal that will increase your financial holdings. In reality, they will show you false returns while asking you to invest as much as you can in their bogus investment scam.
Scammers will offer bogus job openings where you need to pay a bit for a secured, high-paying, and comfortable job. Scammers will then send you a list that includes sharing your sensitive information and also ask you to pay a hefty fee, which will be reimbursed in your first paycheck.
Sweepstakes and lottery winnings
You will receive a text on WhatsApp assuring you of a huge win from a lottery or sweepstakes. The message directs you to take immediate action and prompts you to reveal sensitive data such as your SSN, date of birth, bank account, and so forth to verify your identity. They will try to give you as little time as possible to think and react. They will try to convince you that if you don’t take immediate action, then the winning amount will go to the next person in line.
They will also ask you to pay some money upfront under the guise of “processing fees.”
These are the obvious ways that these scammers employ to lure in their victims. Now we will provide you with tips to stay alert and spot a potential Whatsapp scam if it happens to come your way.
Proactive steps to take against potential scams
- When you are searching for some investment scheme online and the person tries to convince you that this investment scheme will expire soon and you need to invest in the scheme quickly, refrain from entertaining such calls or messages.
- When you are given less time to think over the scheme. It is a scam since a genuine businessperson wants to build up an empire, which can only be achieved by being honest.
- When the person on the other side provides little information about the workings of the schemes. Request that they provide all the details in writing. If you get confused, seek out your local certified public accountant, or CPA.
- When the person uses a lot of jargon instead of using simple English to explain to you. Scammers wish to appear as genuine businesspeople with a lot of experience. It is wise to refrain from entertaining them.
- When the date starts to probe you with a lot of questions right from the moment they meet you online. Curiosity is one thing, and pumping for information is another. Be on your toes when someone tries to pump for answers against your wishes.
- Your date then starts giving you financial advice. It could be a trap. If your date asks for your financial holdings, then you can be sure there is a scammer on the other end.
- Instead of a romantic conversation, your date will divert all their attention to schemes that make money. It is wise to cut off all communication with them, as they are scammers.
- You might find someone who has hit a goldmine and wants to transfer the wealth to your country, and you can claim half or more of the wealth. However, you are required to pay the transportation fee. Avoid falling for such tricks; you will only end up losing your wealth since the package is fake.
- You apply for a job that requires a lot of skill, a degree, and experience, and you get selected. No job in the world pays you more than your qualifications, skill set, and experience.
- The job for which you have applied is high-paying with flexible working hours. It’s a trap; why would anyone pay you a huge amount of money when you lack skill sets, qualifications, and experience?
- You need to pay for some software or training programs, and all the expenses will be reimbursed in the first pay. It is an obvious trap; no company expects their future employees to pay on behalf of the company. If they are offering software or training programs, then the company will provide them free of charge.
- How can you win a lottery or a sweepstake if you have not entered it and bought the ticket?
Several scammers are online, waiting for their victims to fall for their gag. The best way to deal with such scams is to be vigilant and update yourself with the latest financial news that is available online. It is also wise to update yourself with all the scams and different types of scams in society.
When someone comes with an investment opportunity, ask for some time to think and ask for advice from someone you trust, or you can always seek a local CPA.