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UAE alert: Beware of this WhatsApp scam

Web report/Dubai
Filed on January 15, 2021 | Last updated on January 15, 2021 at 10.55 pm
Reuters

WhatsApp warns that this can also happen when someone attempts to take over your account.

Have you received this message on WhatsApp recently?

"Hi i am sorry,I am send you a 6-digit code by SMS mistake can you pass it to me ? Its urgent?"

This is the latest scheme hackers are using to access your WhatsApp account - and all they need is a valid phone number and a verification code.

UAE alert: Beware of this WhatsApp scam (KT27467115.JPEG)

WhatsApp users have been receiving messages from people who claim an error and a request to share a six digit verification code sent by text.

Unfortunately, as soon as users share this number, the hackers have all they need to access your account and block you from it.

Scam explained

WhatsApp's terms of use specifically warn users against sharing this code with anyone. In order to protect your account, the popular messaging app sends a push notification with a verification code whenever someone enters a phone number to request the registration code. This is the code that hackers seek.

While it's possible that well-meaning users mistype a number when trying to register their own numbers, WhatsApp warns that this can also happen when someone attempts to take over your account.

"You should never share your WhatsApp verification code with others," it says. "If someone is trying to take over your account, they need the SMS verification code sent to your phone number to do so. Without this code, any user attempting to verify your number can't complete the verification process and use your phone number on WhatsApp."

Unfortunately, the app doesn't have sufficient information to identify the individual who is attempting to verify the WhatsApp account, which is what enables hackers to con people out of their accounts.

How to recover a stolen account

What can you do to recover your WhatsApp account if you've been locked out?

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority on Thursday put out an advisory with the following recommendations:

> Attempt to remove and reinstall WhatsApp at different times of the day.

> Send an email to the technical support of WhatsApp (support@whatsapp.com) and mention the following text: "Lost/Stolen: Please deactivate my account." Provide your phone number in the following format: +9715xxxxxxxx.

> Inform relatives and friends about the hacking and urge them not to respond to any messages coming from your number on WhatsApp.

> Try reinstalling the app every day.





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