Police issue warning over WhatsApp scam that blocks accounts

2 July 2021, 13:16

Police have issued a warning over the scam (stock images)
Police have issued a warning over the scam (stock images). Picture: Getty

WhatsApp users have been sent a warning about a scam that blocks users from their own accounts.

Police have issued an urgent warning about a WhatsApp scam after seeing a 'surge' in accounts being hacked, leading to people being blocked from their own accounts.

Scammers are posing as a contact's friend, and asking for a six digit security code being sent to them, the Express reports.

To do this, all scammers need is the phone number of the WhatsApp user they're targeting.

They then contact WhatsApp, pretend their number is theirs, and say that the account has been compromised.

WhatsApp will then send a six digit code to the number, and scammers attempt to trick the person who received it to send it over to them.

Scammers are targeting WhatsApp users (stock image)
Scammers are targeting WhatsApp users (stock image). Picture: Getty

If they are sent the code, scammers can then take over the account, and try and scam the contacts for information or money.

A number of Police forces have issud warnings over the scam, with Southwark Police: "We have seen a surge in WhatsApp accounts being hacked, if you are sent a text from WhatsApp with a code on it, don't share the code with ANYONE no matter who's asking, or the reason why."

The public have been urged never to hand over the six digit number (stock image)
The public have been urged never to hand over the six digit number (stock image). Picture: Getty

WhatsApp also said in its official guidance: "You should never share your WhatsApp SMS verification code with others, not even friends or family. If you're tricked into sharing your code and lose access to your WhatsApp account, read the instructions below to recover your account.

"If you suspect someone else is using your WhatsApp account, you should notify family and friends as this individual could impersonate you in chats and groups. Please note, WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted and messages are stored on your device, so someone accessing your account on another device can't read your past conversations."