A WhatsApp scam is a fraudulent activity that takes place on the WhatsApp messaging platform. Scammers may use various tactics to trick users into giving away personal information or money, such as creating fake profiles or impersonating legitimate contacts. Some examples of WhatsApp scams include phishing scams, where scammers send messages that appear to be from a trustworthy source in order to trick the user into giving away personal information or money.

What are the types of WhatsApp scams?

1. WhatsApp wrong number scam.

WhatsApp wrong number scams are a common tactic used by advanced scammers to defraud individuals. These scammers use automated chatbots to initiate conversations with potential victims, posing as a random wrong number. As the conversation progresses, the scammer will devise a sophisticated strategy to gain access to personal information. This can include tricking the victim into providing personal details, such as credit card information or login credentials. It is important to be cautious when receiving messages from unknown numbers on WhatsApp and never share personal information with them.

2. Impersonation scams

One of the most effective ways for scammers to defraud individuals is by pretending to be a friend or family member. The “Mom and Dad” scam, which has been around for some time, has now also made its way to WhatsApp. In this scam, a scammer poses as a close family member and contacts the victim, claiming to have lost their phone. They then ask the victim to share their bank account details. It is important to be cautious when receiving messages from people claiming to be family members, especially if they are asking for personal or financial information. Always verify the identity of the person before sharing any sensitive information.

3. Whatsapp business scams

Scammers often use fake business accounts to deceive users. These accounts closely resemble legitimate, verified business accounts, making them difficult to detect. As a business owner, it is important to be vigilant for scammers impersonating your business and to report any suspicious accounts to WhatsApp. It is also important to note that a business account with a gray question mark icon indicates that it has not been verified by WhatsApp.

4. Verification scam

Another common scam on WhatsApp is the verification scam, in which a hacker attempts to gain access to a victim’s account. The victim will receive two messages, one of which is typically an apology from a supposed friend or family member. The message claims that they accidentally sent a verification code to the victim’s account, and then asks the victim to share the code. Once the code is provided, the hacker can take control of the victim’s WhatsApp account. It’s important to be aware of this scam and never share verification codes with anyone, especially if they are not a known contact.

5. Malicious link scam

A classic scam method that has been around for a long time is scammers sending external links to victims in order to gain access to their accounts. They often lure victims by promising them quick rewards for clicking on the links. Once clicked, victims are directed to an external website where they are prompted to provide personal information in exchange for a prize. However, scammers use this information for fraudulent activities or sell it to others. It’s important to be cautious when clicking on links from unknown sources and to never provide personal information to unfamiliar websites or parties.

6. WhatsApp crypto scam

Scammers typically start by befriending the victim and building trust. Once a rapport has been established, the scammer will tell the victim about a supposed cryptocurrency investment opportunity. If the victim is convinced, the scammer will ask them to transfer money to a cryptocurrency trading site. However, once the money is transferred, the victim will never see it again and the scammer will disappear. It’s important to be cautious when receiving offers of investment opportunities and to do thorough research before investing any money.

WhatsApp Scam Blacklist

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Some common scams on WhatsApp include phishing scams, lottery or prize scams, fake job or employment scams, pyramid schemes, fake charities, and scams related to online dating or romance.

Be cautious of messages from unknown or unfamiliar contacts, and be especially wary of messages that contain links or ask you to click on a link. Don’t provide personal information or pay a fee in response to a message or a link.

Don’t respond to suspicious or unsolicited messages, and don’t click on links in suspicious messages.

Install and use reputable antivirus and antimalware software to protect your device from malicious links. If you receive a message from a legitimate source, such as your bank, go directly to the website by typing in the URL manually or by using a bookmark, rather than clicking on a link in the message. Use caution when sending money or providing financial information.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam on WhatsApp, report the incident to the proper authorities, such as the police or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A phishing scam on WhatsApp is a fake message or link that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or a government agency, in an attempt to trick the user into disclosing sensitive information or login credentials.

A lottery or prize scam on WhatsApp is a fake message claiming that the user has won a prize or a lottery, and asking the user to pay a fee or provide personal information in order to claim the prize.

A fake job or employment scam on WhatsApp is a fake message claiming to be from a legitimate employer or recruitment agency, offering the user a job or an opportunity to work from home. The scammer may ask the user to provide sensitive information or to pay a fee.

Be cautious of any messages on WhatsApp that promise high returns with little or no effort, and be especially wary of messages that ask you to recruit others in order to earn money. Pyramid schemes are illegal and can result in financial loss.

Be cautious of any messages on WhatsApp that ask for donations to a charity, and do your research before making a donation. Legitimate charities will provide information about their mission and how donations are used, and will not ask for personal information or login credentials.

Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.

There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023