Advice to all WhatsApp users
Published on: Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Credit: bbc.com
Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Comission (MCMC) has issued an advisory to WhatsApp users to be wary of scammers who are able to hack into and take over their accounts.

MCMC said the scammers resort to various tricks to deceive users to hand over their 6-digit verification code received through WhatsApp.

Usually, users receive the 6-digit code for the purpose of verification when they attempt to change their phone number which is associated to a Whatsapp account.

The scammers deceive the users to get access to their verification code and take over their WhatsApp account.

MCMC has detected several tricks and modus operandi used by scammers which include:

1. Scammers disguised as friends or family members that use the WhatsApp accounts (belonging to friends or family members) that have been successfully taken over previously and appeal for users’ help by turning over their received 6-digit verification code.

2. Scammers posing as WhatsApp staff will request users to turn over their 6-digit verification code.

3. Scammers deliberately make several failed verification attempts which leads to the WhatsApp system to make automatic calls to the users number to inform them the verification code.

a. Scammers will then disguise and contact users to obtain the verification code or

b. Suppose users do no answer the automatic calls from WhatsApp and it enters voicemail, scammers will try to guess (through random attempt) or request the password or the users’ voicemail PIN to access the recording.

Therefore, MCMC has advised WhatsApp users to:

1. Beware of requests for WhatsApp’s 6-digit verification from any of the following parties:

messages from familiar people (such as friends or family members)

messages or calls from strangers; or

people who claim to be staff members of WhatsApp, and other parties, including authorities.

2. Never reveal your six-digit WhatsApp verification code to any party.

3. Protect your WhatsApp account through a two-step verification based on this setting: WhatsAppSettings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable, and follow the instructions.

4. Never give your password or voicemail PIN to anyone.

5. Ensure your password or voicemail PIN is complex and difficult to guess.

Users who have fallen victim and had their WhatsApp hacked are encouraged to follow instructions at https://faq.whatsapp.com/general/account-and- profile/stolen-accounts/ to retrieve their account.

The victims can also lodge a complaint regarding the matter at the nearest police station or MCMC.

For more information, log on to: https://faq.whatsapp.com/general/account-and-p



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