Now Reading
WhatsApp Scams: How To Protect Yourself

WhatsApp Scams: How To Protect Yourself

To the everyday user, WhatsApp is just another messaging app used to talk to friends, family, and other contacts from across the world. But, with over two billion active users, WhatsApp is also a hot spot for scammers looking to exploit sensitive information, steal money, blackmail users online, and more. 

Scammers on WhatsApp will prey on minors, senior citizens who aren’t as tech-savvy, or trusting users who don’t know any better. That’s why it’s important to be able to identify a potential scam and learn how to protect yourself and your personal information, which can keep you safe and reduce your chances of falling victim. 

At Digital Forensics Corp, we can help victims of WhatsApp scams uncover valuable data and evidence to build a case against a scammer. If you’ve been a victim of a WhatsApp scam, reach out to our team of 24/7 digital investigators for guidance and advice on the best next steps for you and your specific circumstances. 

Keep reading to explore what a WhatsApp scam looks like and how you can protect yourself and stay safe online. 

What Are WhatsApp Scams?

The best way to avoid a scam is to be able to spot it right away. WhatsApp scams are any type of fraudulent activity that could trick a user into sharing personal information, transferring money, or compromising their account. 

WhatsApp scammers use a wide range of tactics, from basic phishing scams to more elaborate prize scams, making them difficult for an unsuspecting person to detect. 

Some common types of WhatsApp scams we see include: 

  • Fraudulent Account Verification: These can be a message claiming to be WhatsApp support or an IT member looking to verify your account details, where the user enters their login details into a fraudulent website. While these websites or messages might look legitimate, they’re used to steal your information and then access your account. 
  • Prize Scams: While winning a new iPad or a free trip to somewhere tropical could get almost anyone excited, these WhatsApp scams are often phishing scams that entice users with a prize. Instead, they’ll capture your personal information through a link or urge you to provide personal details to claim your prize.
  • Emergency Money: Scammers can impersonate a friend or family member using a similar account and request money to help them in an emergency. What can seem like a cry for help is actually a scammer on the other end of the phone, hoping you’ll wire money to a loved one.
    Investment Scams: There has been a rise in cryptocurrency investment scams, with 9% of WhatsApp scams focusing on this. In this scheme, a scammer will message a victim appearing as a friend’s profile and encourage them to send money with promises of potentially large returns. Once the money is sent, the scammer disappears without any real return or investment.
  • Romance: Finding love online is common. But because of its popularity, scammers have concocted long-term scams that can prey on someone who thinks they’re building a legitimate romantic relationship. According to the FTC, these are the second most popular types of online scams. While the initial connection might start on a dating app, a scammer will progress to WhatsApp, where they will eventually exploit or extort a victim.
  • Hijacking Accounts: When a scammer gets access to your account, they can hijack it by changing the password and locking you out of your account. Once inside your account, they can access your contacts and personal information, leading to more fraudulent behavior and potentially theft. 

These WhatsApp scammers are constantly evolving and discovering new ways to trick unsuspecting users into sharing their logins, account details, and more. With each scam looking a bit different, it’s not uncommon for cybercriminals to combine tactics and both hijack an account and send scamming messages to make it seem more legitimate.

How Can I Protect Myself From WhatsApp Scams?

The sad reality is that scams have become a common part of daily life on the internet, and WhatsApp is no safer than any other social media network. Despite the increasing prevalence of scams, there are ways that you can protect yourself and avoid a data breach or exploitation on WhatsApp. 

Verify Your Contacts

With scammers frequently using your own contact’s photos or profiles, one way to avoid falling victim to a scam is to confirm your contacts directly. Check to see if you have any mutual contacts, and watch out for alarming language or incorrect grammar that might indicate a scammer has accessed your contact’s account.

Enable 2FA

A simple and efficient way to safeguard yourself from a scam is to set up two-factor authentication on your accounts. This adds an extra layer of security and ensures that if anyone tries to access your account, they’ll have to also have access to your verification method. 

Report or Block Suspicious Accounts

If you’re contacted by someone you don’t know or they have a suspicious account, you can block them directly in the app to prevent them from contacting you again. To do this, go to the chat, click on the contact’s name, and scroll down to click “Report Contact.” This will prevent them from being able to contact you again and will alert WhatsApp of any suspicious activity. 

Restrict Who Can Add You to Group Messages

If you’re getting unwanted messages from unknown accounts or being added to group messages that you’re not familiar with, you can change your settings in WhatsApp. This will limit the capabilities of your contacts and prevent strangers from adding you to WhatsApp messaging groups.

Stay Up to Date on the Latest Scams

Since scammers are always evolving and changing their malicious tactics, you can stay one step ahead of them by reading up on the latest scam tactics circulating on the app. This can ensure you’re up to date and not caught off guard if something suspicious pops up in WhatsApp.

Regularly Review Your Accounts and Logins

A good habit to get into is regularly checking your logins and accounts to confirm everything is secure. Whether it’s changing your password every few months or removing contacts you don’t know, these mini-audits can keep your account in good shape and prevent any security lapses.

What Do I Do if I Am a Victim of a WhatsApp Scam?

If, despite your best efforts, you’ve fallen victim to a WhatsApp scam, know that you’re not alone. In April 2024 alone, an estimated 19.2 billion spam text messages were sent, leading to millions in consumer losses annually. 

As soon as you realize you’ve been scammed, you should take action to prevent any further losses or damage. If you still have access to your account, change your passwords immediately. 

You’ll also want to report the scammers to WhatsApp and the authorities. When you submit your report, make sure to include as much evidence as possible, including screenshots, files, and any other data that can be helpful to authorities in their investigation. 

If you’ve sent money or shared any other financial information with the scammer, you should also immediately contact your bank or financial institution to report fraud. This will ensure you don’t experience any more losses, and the scammer can’t access your financial information. 

Lastly, give your contacts a heads-up that your account has been compromised and avoid any suspicious messages that might come from your account now or in the future. By alerting your friends and family, you can prevent them from falling prey to a scammer using your name or photo to solicit money. 

How Digital Forensic Services Can Help

When you’ve fallen victim to a scam, seeking professional help from our team at Digital Forensics can help you navigate the situation, recover faster, and get justice. With a 24/7 team of digital investigators, we offer immediate assistance if you suspect you’ve been scammed.

Our digital forensic services can help you develop a comprehensive response plan to address your concerns and any evidentiary needs you or the authorities may have. Our tools and expertise can help collect and analyze evidence, including message metadata, identifying IP addresses, or tracing transaction paths to help you track down a scammer.

We provide a range of specialized services designed to address your unique needs. Our process begins with forensic analysts conducting a comprehensive phone questionnaire to gather detailed information about the incident. Afterward, our analyst takes control of the platform where the crime occurred, relieving the victim of the investigative burden.

Using advanced techniques like IP tracking, our expert works to locate and identify the perpetrator, collecting crucial evidence such as proof of harassment. Once all essential information is gathered, the perpetrator is confronted and issued a cease-and-desist letter, which includes a demand for video proof of the deletion of the victim’s personal content. Impressively, we achieve a 90% success rate in securing this proof and an agreement from the perpetrator to cease contact with the victim.

Whether you need immediate intervention with our ASAP service — delivering a comprehensive forensic report in just 24 hours — or prefer a more extended 30-day service for a detailed analysis, we tailor our offerings to fit your financial needs. Our expertise dismantles the blackmailer’s greatest weapon: their anonymity.

After your initial service, If you’re worried about being scammed again, we can offer advice and guidance on how to avoid a compromising situation again through increased security measures and tips on how to spot suspicious activity in the future.

We know that being a victim of a WhatsApp scam can impact your mental health and psychological safety. Above all, we’re here to be a partner and support you with our forensic services and cyber security expertise.

You don’t have to deal with this alone — Reach out to our team of digital investigators today to get your questions answered and discover how we can help you.



Social media a gold mine for scammers in 2021 | Federal Trade Commission

How to change group privacy settings | WhatsApp 

About suspicious messages and scams | WhatsApp Help Center

United States Spam Text Trends and Insights | Robokiller

How to protect yourself from suspicious messages and scams | WhatsApp Help Center


Leave a Response

Please enter the result of the calculation above.