Scammers Targeting Users Via WhatsApp


We’ve written a lot about phishing emails and how to spot them. But recently, more users have reported that scammers are asking for their WhatsApp numbers.  

But why?  

With more people aware of phishing scams and IT departments cracking down on suspicious emails, scammers are looking for ways to communicate with victims outside of a company’s IT ecosystem.  

As IT departments have no visibility over users’ WhatsApp accounts, the instant messaging app has become the perfect environment for scammers to operate. 

How Does It Work? 

Like a regular phishing scam, the user will receive an ‘urgent email’ from a scammer posing as a trusted contact, asking for the user’s WhatsApp number.  

To bypass firewalls and antivirus software, the email will typically be in plain-text format and include no links, prompting no suspicion.  

If the user supplies their WhatsApp number, the scammer will send messages asking the user to do something. This could be to buy a gift card, click a link or reveal sensitive information, such as a password. 

Of course, as soon as this action is completed, it’s often too late and the scam has been a success. 

What Should You Do In This Scenario? 

If you receive a suspicious email in your inbox, there’s no need to panic – however, there are a few things that you should do.  

Firstly, ask the person who ‘sent’ the email if it was actually them. But do this via a different channel, such as Teams or face-to-face (if you can). Sometimes hackers spoof email addresses, which is why it’s important to use a different channel.  

If the email is fake, make sure you don’t click on any links, download any attachments or reply to the email.  

Instead, you should let your IT department know and report the email to Microsoft by right-clicking on it and hitting the ‘report’ option. 

Related: How to Report a Phishing Scam

Final Thoughts 

We hope that this information will help prevent you from becoming a victim of a phishing scam.  

As scams become more sophisticated, it’s important to remain vigilant and take caution if you receive anything remotely suspicious.  

After all, preventing a breach is easier and cheaper than resolving one.  

For more information on this topic, make sure to visit our phishing scam knowledge hub. 

Still Unsure?

If you’re a Systemagic customer and you’re still unsure what to do, please contact our friendly helpdesk on 01225 426800 or email support@systemagic.co.uk to log a ticket.

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