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Security Stop Press : WhatsApp Group Chat Scam Warning

Warnings have been issued about a new audio call scam on WhatsApp targeting family and friends. The scam involves a fraudster, most likely using a fake profile picture and display name, making an unexpected call, impersonating a member of a WhatsApp group chat. The fraudster tells the victim they’re sending them a one-time passcode (OTP) to join a for group members and asks the victim to share the passcode with them in order to be registered for the call.

However, this is in fact an access code that will allow the scammer to register the victim’s WhatsApp to a new device, take over their account, and enable two-step verification so the victim is essentially locked out of their own WhatsApp account. The fraudster then messages people in the victim’s contacts asking for money.

Hundreds of complaints to Action Fraud have already been reported and the advice for those in large group chats on WhatsApp, is to be on their guard and monitor who joins the chats.