Udayavni Special

WhatsApp OTP scam: What is it and how to stay safe?


Team Udayavani, Nov 26, 2020, 3:59 PM IST

Scammers and Hackers are now using OTP tricks to gain illegal access to accounts. A new form of scam is surfacing where the hacker hacks into your friend’s account and sends you personalised messages to access your account.

How does it work?

In the WhatsApp OTP scam, the hacker sends you a message claiming to be your friend and says that he/she is in some sort of emergency. The hacker will then ask you for an OTP, which he will claim that he has sent to your number mistakenly.

When you get messages like this, do not indulge in any further conversation or send the OTP code, which actually provides access to your WhatsApp account.

The hacker wants to access your WhatsApp account through OTP validation. The moment you will share the OTP with the fraudster, you will be locked out of your WhatsApp account and the hacker will have the full access to your messages, contacts and groups.

How to safeguard yourself

You can enable two-factor authentication on WhatsApp:

Open WhatsApp on your phone and tap on the three dots (top-right corner).

Tap on ‘Settings from the dropdown, and then ‘Account’.

Now, enable two-factor authentication from the menu. Enter (and re-enter) the six digit PIN.

When probed, enter (and re-enter) your email address. You can choose to skip this step.

Click on ‘Done’. With this, two-factor authentication has been enabled.

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