How do cybercriminals use WhatsApp? committing one type of scam is very diverse and there are different methods. According to ESET, a company dedicated to detecting threats, there are a few common threats such as account theft, identity theft and even distribution of malware this way.


The first threat is adware, i.e. suspicious add-ons that usually result in the installation of some type of software or display of invasive advertisements that collect user information.

There are two methods described, one relates to a fake anniversary of a brand, is included in the message that a well-known brand or service celebrates its anniversary and therefore offers some kind of gift or benefit.

The message includes a link so that the user can access their reward, but they usually have to complete a survey before they can receive it.
. Then you must share the message with a certain number of WhatsApp contacts or groups to continue. However, the giveaway or reward never materializes and the user is redirected to sites that display invasive advertisements.

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With the other economic aid message, the message is similar but the idea is to steal personal data such as name, date of birth, document number, nationality, among others, in addition to being marketed on forums. other criminals to commit fraud.

It is also used in order to steal personal data, with a message from an unknown number, someone playing unknown and trying to convince the unsuspecting user that he is in another country. It usually starts like this:


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The goal is to ask you for help, for example to carry out the procedure to receive a package or something like that asks for photos on both sides of your document.

Note that cybercriminals can also commit identity theft by downloading the contact list, which is the profile picture of the account. and other relevant information and another number, but they also contact family and friends directly from the stolen account to request money for a so-called emergency or persuade them to take another action.

They commit identity theft scams via WhatsApp, even from hacking an email account.

A few months ago, the status of a user who compromised their Outlook account, and The attackers downloaded a copy of the email with the contact list, photos and full names. They then created WhatsApp accounts with this and other collected information and contacted their contact lists. impersonating the victim and offering dollars to sell.

Beware of trying to do “whatsapp spy” which is a very popular term, seeing the conversations of a third party account gets a lot of attention from users. And scammers know this, which is why many disreputable sites appear on Google promising spying solutions. The real purpose is usually to show ads and gather information from those who decide to try these apps, extensions or online services, and you could be a victim there. ​ ​

When installing the WhatsApp application on a new device, the phone number associated with our account must be entered. Next comes an SMS message with a six-digit verification code to authenticate the user.

However, this process is exploited by attackers who want to take control of accounts, both users and companies.


For example, with scam campaigns referring to the launch of a new version of WhatsApp to put other colors or typography options like WhatsApp Plus, far from being a harmless campaign is downloading a Trojan on the victim’s phone.

Last year, Eset analyzed malware that spread through the app, trying to trick victims into downloading an app. From a website that looks like Google Play.

Once the malicious app was installed, any message that reached the victim’s device was automatically replied with a personalized message with a link to download the fake app.

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Source: Exame

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