In some scenarios, victims are asked to take a short survey about WhatsApp and to send messages to several contacts in order to receive a cash prize – which in reality, is not real
WhatsApp users are being warned to watch out for a string of new scams which could see your bank account drained by fraudsters.
The team at anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab say they’ve noticed a spike in fake surveys, as well as dangerous websites being set up for romance scams.
Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm based in Moscow, warned WhatsApp users to be alert in a report published last week.
In some scenarios, victims were asked to take a short survey about WhatsApp and to send messages to several 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.
Have you been caught out by a scammer? Let us know: email@example.com
But the prize doesn’t actually exist and instead, victims are duped out of their cash.
Kaspersky also noted how cybercriminals are inviting victims to a WhatsApp chat with “beautiful strangers” as part of elaborate romance scams.
But when attempting to enter the chat room, the user lands on a fake Facebook login page. By entering your details, scammers could then gain access to your passwords and other sensitive information.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites.
Finally, there has also been a spike of emails being sent by crooks with a link containing a fake WhatsApp voice message.
By clicking on this, users risk handing over personal data and also downloading malware to their computer or phone.
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 also noted how delivery scams are still high, where crooks pretend to be from Amazon, Royal Mail and the DVLA.
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.
HMRC last month issued a scam warning for self-employed Brits as the fifth SEISS grant opens.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
If you think you’ve already fallen victim to a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Or if you live in Scotland, contact Police Scotland.
For WhatsApp scams, you can contact the company directly through your app by clicking on “settings” and then “help”.
If you handed over any sensitive information, it is also worth contacting your bank and changing your passwords.