SINGAPORE: There were at least 90 reports of WhatsApp accounts being taken over by scammers since January, the police said on Thursday (Apr 4).
The victims in those cases received a WhatsApp message from a friend whose account had been compromised. The message requested for the victim to send over a six-digit WhatsApp verification code that had been sent to them via SMS. After sharing the verification code, the victims then lost access to their WhatsApp accounts.
The police said members of the public should be aware of the resurgence of this WhatsApp takeover scam.
“Scammers have been known to use the compromised WhatsApp accounts to deceive unsuspecting victims into performing monetary transfers, sending over Money Online (MOL) points, purchasing gift cards and sending over the password for the cards. The scammers then sold the gift cards online,” the police said.
Members of the public should be wary of unusual requests received over WhatsApp, even if they were sent by their own contacts, police said.
They should also call their friend to verify the authenticity of the request but refrain from doing so via the social media platform as the account might have been taken over by scammers.
WhatsApp users can also protect their account by enabling its Two-Step Verification feature, police added.
Those who wish to provide information related to such scams can contact the police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the details at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg.