Anyone who uses the WhatsApp messaging app is at risk of a string of new scams circulating online, security experts have warned.
The scams, ranging from completing surveys to joining dating websites, could reveal your bank details to fraudsters.
Anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab has warned of a spike in fake surveys, as well as fraudulent websites being set up for romance scams.
Cash prize false-promises
Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm based in Moscow, revealed the findings of increasing numbers of scams in a report published last week.
The scams include a ‘short survey’ circulating, asking WhatsApp users about their experience of the app. The users are also told to circulate a chain-mail message to their contacts in order to receive a cash prize.
WhatApp users are also told by the scammers that they need to pay a small amount to receive their money.
However, there is no prize and victims are left out of pocket.
The cybersecurity company have also warned of scammers inviting WhatsApp users to join a chat with “beautiful strangers,” before redirecting them to a fake Facebook login page.
The cyber criminals then gain login credentials and other private information, leaving victims vulnerable to their social and bank accounts being accessed by the fraudsters.
Another romance scam currently circulating is scammers creating face profiles on dating sites, sparking a relationship with vulnerable users and then rinsing them of large sums of money.
In the report, Kaspersky said: “In messenger-based spam, we continued to observe common tricks to get users to part with a small amount of money.”
Kaspersky have also raised concerns over scammers who pretend to be from Amazon, Royal Mail and the DVLA, asking users to provide bank details in order to have missed deliveries re-sent.
The messages include a link to a fraudulent website which asks the recipient to enter their bank details to release their parcel.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute warned that the rise in online shopping means more people are likely to be waiting for parcels and deliveries, making them more vulnerable to this kind of fraud.
Meanwhile, Kaspersky says there are still fake firms trying to offer coronavirus grants and compensation.