Beware of scams
Whatsapp: Do not call these numbers
May 31, 2022, 7:29 PM
A new WhatsApp scam is making the rounds. With just one call, users can lose their account. You must keep your hands away from these digit sequences.
Anyone who receives messages from the Whatsapp messaging service asking them to call a special number should be careful. As Computer Bild warns, there is a new scam behind it that first appeared in India.
The specialized magazine warns that fraudulent telephone numbers can be recognized by a sequence of digits that are given with an asterisk. For Germany, the combination is **21*, in previous cases, especially in India, the phone number had the prefix **67* or *405*.
Attention: Fraud by control commands
The characters, which initially appear harmless, are actually a GSM code, used as a control command for smartphones. This allows fraudsters to set up call forwarding and call blocking, ultimately redirecting all calls to the fraudsters’ devices.
What happens after a call to this number? According to Computer Bild, the criminals take over the Whatsapp accounts of their victims and deposit their own smartphone as a new device. Since a new Whatsapp device can usually be confirmed by a control call, verification by call forwarding is not a problem. The specialized magazine warns that fraudsters can legitimize themselves as users of the account and possibly also change the phone numbers and thus gain full control of the account.
After the fraud, the account is gone for now
This means that it will be difficult to recover your own account because scammers can now log in. The specialized magazine warns that scammers take advantage of the situation and send messages to their own contacts on behalf of the victims or spread the manipulated phone number further to seize other accounts.
text message scam
Recently, consumer advocates warned of another scam: When receiving a voicemail, mobile phone owners are usually asked to call their voicemail. However, according to the consumer protection portal “Watchlist Internet”, SMS messages are currently being sent asking users to click on a link with a message that they have just received a voice message. Anyone who follows the link will be informed that an app needs to be downloaded due to the format of the message. However, mobile phone users cannot do this under any circumstances as it is malware.
If only the link was clicked, nothing happened, according to the consumer protection portal. However, once you’ve installed the app, you need to act quickly:
- Factory reset your device. Your data will be lost if you have not backed it up regularly. However, this is the only way to be sure that the malware has been removed.
- In addition, you must change any passwords that are stored on your device or that you have entered.
- If you have incurred costs by installing the malware, you should try to get the money back. Contact your cell phone provider and describe your situation.
How to recognize fake SMS
To not let it get that far, you should be suspicious of:
- Messages from unknown numbers containing a strange link.
- The web address has nothing to do with your mobile operator and is unknown to you (like framebridfe.com)? If you also need to download an app or enter data, close the page and delete the SMS.
- Last but not least, you should also ask yourself if the SMS makes any sense. When you receive a voicemail, you are usually prompted to call your voicemail and listen to the message there. When in doubt, an SMS asking you to download an app is extremely dubious.
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