KOLKATA: With the cyber cell receiving multiple WhatsApp scams over the last few days, Kolkata Police took to social media to explain the fraud and suggested ways to avoid the trap where the victim loses control over his WhatsApp account and the accused extract money from his/her contacts. So far, two victims have lost Rs 50,000 and Rs 11,000 each though the number of attempts have been in dozens.
According to police, a caller poses as a customer care executive of a mobile service provider and ask the victim if there are any internet issues. “Even if the problem has been solved, the person says there is a service request raised in the victim’s name that needs to resolved. The person then asks the victim to dial a code consisting of multiple characters and numbers. Once the victim makes the call, he or she will get logged out of the WhatsApp account and hackers take control of it,” explained Kolkata Police through slides put up on its Twitter handle.
The short-key numbers that the victims dial are actually service request numbers for telecom operators to activate ‘call forwarding’. This feature enables the user to divert calls.
Eventually, the hackers use the technique to forward victims’ calls to their own numbers. They simultaneously start the WhatsApp registration process on their smartphones along with generating and selecting the OTP verification through a phone call. The hacker also chooses the OTP via call option to get it via the diverted number. By this, hackers gain complete control of WhatsApp,” said DCP (cyber) Praveen Prakash.
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