The dark net has found a new way to scam people and this time their target is the biggest messaging app, WhatsApp. Used by more than a quarter of the world’s population it is now targeting users with irrelevant, ‘Sorry, who are you message’ or the sorts. This is a way of starting a conversation with the user and in turn hack the device for monetary gains.
The scam was exposed by WhatsApp update tracker WABetainfo who shared a screenshot where the scammers are sending “Excuse me, who are you?” from an unknown number. The sender tried sounding very genuine as they strike a conversation using questions like name, occupation, age and even complimenting the user.
Then the user is asked to add the scammer to their social media account so that they can gain public information like friends list etc. This further escalates to the user demanding for private photos shared with family and friends and sending morphed images and then blackmailing the victims for money.
The scammer does so by buying a VoIP number, the technology that allows users to make voice calls using the internet. Through VoIP they contact certain people or a group of people. Users are advised to not get involved in a conversion with a suspicious sender and instead block the number and inform friends. They should also in no case share private information or financial details at any cost and instead report the number.