Fraud Mode on WhatsApp: No one wants to stumble over unpleasant experiences. Moreover, being a victim of unsettling online fraud. However, fraud cases that utilize platforms both social media and instant messaging like WhatsApp are life.
The Directorate of Cyber Crime, a work unit under the Indonesian Police Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim Polri), announced that throughout 2019, there were 1,617 reports related to cybercrime. Whether it happens on the marketplace, social media, e-mail, or other online platforms.
How to Avoid Fraud Mode on WhatsApp
Online fraud or scam cases can be messages obtained from third parties such as spam, hoaxes, and phishing. In practice, fraudsters try various modus operandi to encourage victims to take certain actions.
So, how is it best to avoid the various modes of online fraud that occur on WhatsApp? The following basic security tips ( security 101 ) from WhatsApp can prevent cyber criminal cheating. As we continue to be vigilant in the real world, we must also do the same in the digital world.
Recognize Fraud Mode Online
Fraudsters can appear with various faces. They can pretend to be friends or close relatives. Then claimed to really need money by using an unknown number. With the reason being hit by a disaster such as having just been robbed, imprisoned, or even hospitalized, they can fabricate excuses and convince us to send some money.
If you don’t want to be a victim, first, pay attention to the language the imposter tries to imitate. The conversation style used may be different. Like the language chosen, how to explain the situation and other small things that make us doubt.
Don’t forget to ask for additional information from a trusted source. After learning that this is a mode of fraud if it happens on WhatsApp, then simply block by opening chat > click contact or group name > click Report or Block contact.
Have you ever received a message stating that you are lucky to be a prize winner suddenly? If so, there is a possibility you are being targeted for fraud. Usually, fraudsters claim to be the company/brand that ensures that we win a big prize.
Or just offer a job that we never registered before. Their main purpose is to try to obtain our personal information or cheat to ask for money.
If you receive a message and are not sure if it is classified as a fraud mode, stop and review the message carefully. The following are some of the characteristics or contents of messages that should be avoided:
- Contains spelling or grammatical errors;
- Ask to tap on the link;
- Request to share your personal information (such as credit card numbers and bank accounts, date of birth, password);
- Ask to forward a message;
- Ask to click the link to “activate” the new feature;
- Stating that you have to pay to use WhatsApp. Even though WhatsApp won’t ask for rewards because WhatsApp itself can’t access or read messages thanks to the always-on end-to-end encryption)
If you receive a message from an unknown number, delete it immediately and report the message. Do not click on links or provide any personal information even in return for prizes.
An indicator might be displayed when a link contains a combination of characters that are considered unusual. Fraudsters may use this combination of characters to trick you into tapping links that will likely open legitimate websites but will actually lead you to dangerous sites.
When receiving the link, carefully review the message content. If the link is marked as a suspicious link, you can tap on the link and a pop-up message will be displayed – highlighting unusual characters in the link. Then can choose to open the link or return to chat.
Still worried about being swindled by con artists? WhatsApp has made some basic controls that can be adjusted to help protect yourself. As follows:
- Control who can see information by setting the last seen, Profile Photos, and or Status in the privacy settings.
- Control who can add to groups by opening Settings / Settings in the application. Then tap Account>Privacy> Groups and choose one of the following three options: “My Contacts Except,” “My Contacts,” or “Everyone.”
- It provides an additional layer of security by turning on Two-Step Verification. How? To activate it, open “Settings” then select “Account” and select “Two-Step Verification“. This is the best way to protect personal data.
As a user, you must always be vigilant when receiving messages from unauthorized parties who are not in contact. Understanding suspicious signs when interacting with unknown numbers is a good place to start cultivating a sense of responsibility as a citizen.
If you have mastered this simple step, you will be more resistant to online fraud or other malicious attacks from cybercriminals.