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WhatsApp campaign alerts users to ‘friend in need’ scam messages

Users urged to stop, think and call

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Posted: Nov 11, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago

Photo: File

Meta-owned messaging app Whatsapp has launched a new awareness campaign to alert users to scam messages claiming that ‘friends are in need.’

The “stop, think and call” campaign aims to raise awareness about scammers and educate users that their WhatsApp accounts can be hijacked.

The campaign was launched by WhatsApp as National Trading Standards revealed that 59% of people had either received a scam text in the last year or knew someone who had.

The messages are sent from the compromised accounts of your friends, so they seem as if they’re coming from someone you know, or from an unknown number claiming to be a friend who has lost their phone or been ‘locked out’ of their account, according to the campaign.

“Friend-in-need” scams have been growing in recent months, said Louise Baxter, the head of the National Trading Standards scams team and Friends Against Scams.

“Scammers send messages that appear to come from a friend or family member asking for personal information, money or a six-digit pin number.”

The campaign urges users to stop, think and call before sharing any personal information or forward any message.

Kathryn Harnett, policy manager at WhatsApp, said, “WhatsApp protects our users’ personal messages with end-to-end encryption, but we want to remind people that we all have a role to play in keeping our accounts safe by remaining vigilant to the threat of scammers.”

“We advise all users never to share their six-digit pin code with others, not even friends or family, and recommend that all users set up two-step verification for added security,” she said.

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WhatsApp, scammers, scam messages, new campaign launch, friends in need

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