WhatsApp scams What to do

WhatsApp scams: What to do in Canada?

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PUREVPNWhatsApp scams: What to do in Canada?

WhatsApp scams have been around for many years but have become even more prevalent recently. The first known WhatsApp scam was reported in 2013. Since then, WhatsApp scams have become more sophisticated, and malicious parties have invented several different types of WhatsApp scams. 

Although, WhatsApp has taken steps to prevent users from getting scammed on the platform. It’s crucial to remain vigilant and educate yourself on identifying and avoiding WhatsApp scams. 

In this article, we’ll learn what WhatsApp scams are, their different types, how to report them, and what to do if you’ve become a victim of a WhatsApp scam.

WhatsApp scams What to do

What are WhatsApp scams?

A WhatsApp scam involves scammers and fraudulent parties who trick users on the platform into making payments, providing sensitive information, or downloading malware into their devices. You can take several steps to ensure your online safety and protection.

However, you must be cautious since scammers are always finding new ways to exploit the application and target unsuspecting users.

Types of WhatsApp scams in Canada

So many WhatsApp scams have emerged that it’s become difficult to keep count. These scams significantly differ based on where you’re located. For example, WhatsApp scams featuring Asian girls, where scammers pretend to be attractive Asian females and target men, are quite common in Anglosphere countries.

The following are some of the most common types of WhatsApp scams around the world:

  1. Phishing scams

A phishing scam involves messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, asking you to open a link and enter your personal information. Since people trust these institutions, it’s quite common for them to fall for such scams.

Here’s an example of a Twitter user who received a message from an unknown number claiming to be a bank representative. Luckily, the user did not fall victim to this scam and reported the account instead.

  1. Malware distribution scams

Have you ever received links to a website or downloadable and installable files on WhatsApp from an unknown number? These links and files could contain malware. The malware installed on your device can then steal, encrypt, or even delete your data, spy on your activities, and hijack the device’s functions.

In 2017, a widely reported malware distribution scam involved users receiving a link to change the standard green color on WhatsApp, as seen in the Tweet below:

  1. Chain messages

Chain messages ask WhatsApp users to forward the message they receive to other contacts on the platform. This scam plays with the victims’ emotions and makes false claims. For example, it could say that forwarding the message to your friends and family will prevent something bad from happening to you or bring you good luck.

Chain messages are typically used to collect data regarding WhatsApp users or to distribute malware. These messages now have the “Forwarded many times” label, so they’re easier to spot.

Credits: AirDroid

  1. Identity theft scams

Identity theft scams involve scammers impersonating a legitimate organization or a business to trick WhatsApp users into sharing their personal information. Current common identity theft WhatsApp scams involve bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies.

Scammers impersonate well-known people or organizations in the crypto space to contact victims and convince them to invest in cryptocurrency.

  1. Prize or lottery scams

As its name suggests, this scam involves WhatsApp messages claiming you’ve won a lottery or a prize. Typically, the sender will ask you to pay a fee to claim the prize. However, if you stop to think about it, no lottery or prize winner is ever asked to pay before claiming their prize or lottery.

  1. WhatsApp updates scams

WhatsApp never sends a message on the platform to inform users about an update. You will likely receive a notification from the App Store, Play Store, or any store you’ve used to download the application.

If you receive a message claiming to be from WhatsApp regarding an update, you must report it as a scam as it might contain malware.

  1. Social engineering scams

Social engineering scams involve scammers pretending to be someone the victim knows to collect personal information. One common social engineering scam is the “Hi Mom, Hi Dad” scam, which involves scammers pretending to be the victim’s child using a new WhatsApp number.

  1. Fake job offers scam

Not limited to WhatsApp but quite common on this particular platform, the fake job offers scam includes messages offering job opportunities to victims. This scam promises lucrative job opportunities to the receiver and asks for their personal information. They often ask victims to make a processing fee payment to proceed.

  1. Romance scams

Tinder has become quite popular, and with its popularity, it has attracted quite a few scammers on the platform. Scammers on Tinder use the platform pretending to be individuals looking for romantic partners. After gaining the victim’s trust, they move the conversation to WhatsApp, where they try to persuade the victim to send them money or share their details.

Often, romance WhatsApp scams start as wrong number scams. The scammers pretend to have messaged the wrong number and then proceed to try to build a friendship or a romantic connection with the victims.

How to protect yourself from WhatsApp scams in Canada

The following are some ways you can protect yourself from WhatsApp scams:

Identifying the scams and suspicious messages

You must be cautious of any unsolicited messages you receive from strangers or unsuspecting contacts. Avoid responding if the messages promise financial gains, freebies, or rewards without prior communication with the sender.

Another common telltale sign of scammers is that they’re not proficient in the language they use to send messages. So, look for grammatical or spelling errors and report the message if you suspect fraud.

These messages also often try to threaten the receiver or create a sense of panic or urgency in them. It’s best to steer clear of replying to such messages. Moreover, you must never share your passwords, bank details, or personal information with unknown numbers.

Securing your device and account

To secure your WhatsApp account, update it to the latest version available and enable two-factor authentication for that extra layer of security. Both your account and your device should have unique and strong passwords.

Installing antivirus software, a firewall, and a VPN on your device is also useful for detecting and blocking malicious software and links.

Protecting your privacy

WhatsApp lets you control who can see your profile information and status updates. Set your privacy settings to “Contacts Only” to prevent scammers from spying on your activities. Moreover, don’t share your personal or sensitive information with anyone, especially unknown contacts, on the platform.

WhatsApp’s encryption might not be sufficient to protect your privacy and ensure complete security and safety. PureVPN will encrypt your internet connection with high-grade 256-bit AES encryption, so all your online activities, data, and history remains safe.

Reporting suspicious messages

If you receive a suspicious message, it’s best not to respond and engage in conversation. Report the suspicious message to WhatsApp by tapping the “Report” button in the message options. Furthermore, you can block the number and delete the message to prevent further contact.

Use PureVPN for a scam-free WhatsApp experience

PureVPN has everything you need to keep cybercriminals at bay and more! The following are some of the ways it can help protect you from WhatsApp scams:

  • Encryption: PureVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption to encrypt your internet traffic. This includes all of your messages and calls. Installing PureVPN on your device will prevent hackers from intercepting or accessing your communications on the platform.
  • Anonymity: PureVPN hides your IP address, making it difficult to track your location. It helps you maintain your online identity and privacy, preventing scammers from targeting you with WhatsApp scams.
  • Secure server connection: PureVPN has 6,500 servers in 71 locations. You can connect to any remote server to secure your connection when accessing WhatsApp or other similar online services. Consequently, your data and device remain protected from potential hacking attempts and location-based scams.
  • Block malicious websites: If you turn on PureVPN on your device, it will safeguard you from malicious links or phishing websites designed to infect your device with malware or steal your personal information.
  • Multi-device protection: PureVPN is compatible with numerous operating systems, and it supports multi-device usage with simultaneous use on up to 10 devices. So, you can keep your WhatsApp protected regardless of which device you’re using or where you are.
  • Public WiFi security: Public WiFi networks can be easy targets for hackers looking to spread malware or steal personal information. With PureVPN, you can maintain your privacy and protection on WhatsApp no matter where you are.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to open WhatsApp messages from an unknown number?

It’s not always safe to open messages on WhatsApp from an unknown number. Fraudsters and scammers use WhatsApp to target potential victims. These messages can contain malicious attachments or links that steal your personal information or harm your device. 

Why am I getting messages from strangers on WhatsApp?

You may be receiving messages from unknown numbers on WhatsApp for several reasons. Others can obtain your number through WhatsApp groups that you’re a part of, or they might have entered the wrong number. 
Other possible explanations include mistaken identity or publicly available WhatsApp numbers. It’s best to ignore and block unknown numbers on the platform, as they can also be scammers or spammers.

Can you be Catfished on WhatsApp?

Catfishing, a type of online scamming technique, is quite popular on messaging apps, including WhatsApp, as well as on dating apps and social media platforms. If you suspect someone is trying to catfish you, report them on the platform. A few common signs that someone is a catfish include monetary or other suspicious requests and inconsistency in their behavior or stories.

Can someone hack my contacts through WhatsApp?

It is highly unlikely for someone to hack your contacts through WhatsApp. The platform has end-to-end encryption. However, hacked cloud storage accounts, malware, and social engineering scams on WhatsApp can expose your contacts, messages, and other personal details to cybercriminals.

Can a WhatsApp hacker see my messages?

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption makes it almost impossible for hackers to see your messages. However, some scamming techniques on the platform, such as malware distribution and social engineering, can grant scammers access to your chats. Furthermore, if the hacker has hacked into your cloud storage account, where your messages are backed up, they can access those files there.

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion, countless WhatsApp scams pose a serious threat to the platform’s users. Scammers can use the messaging application to steal your financial and personal information and compromise your device.

It’s always best to stay vigilant and cautious when using WhatsApp and other messaging apps online. Furthermore, you should also use a VPN to secure your online communications. 

PureVPN provides an extra layer of security for your WhatsApp account with high-grade encryption for your internet traffic. It also masks your IP address and blocks all malicious websites. You can use the application for protection when using public WiFi or for multi-device protection.




June 20, 2023


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