The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has issued an advisory warning WhatsApp users to be wary of a new scam being conducted on the messaging platform.
Victims could lose access to their accounts, and their friends and family members could be deceived into buying online gift cards, Todayonline said in a report.
The police received reports of the scam, but did not say how many users in Singapore have been affected, or how much money the victims might have lost.
Victims would typically receive a message from one of their contacts, whose WhatsApp account might have already been compromised. The scammer would request for the WhatsApp account verification codes that the victim received via SMS to be sent to him or her.
Upon sending the verification codes to the scammers, victims would lose access to their WhatsApp account. The compromised accounts were then used to deceive people on the victims’ contact lists into buying online gift cards, and sending over the password for the cards.
The gift cards would then be resold online.
WhatsApp users are urged to be wary of unusual requests received over the messaging platform, even if they came from people they know. The police advised users to “always call your friend personally to verify the authenticity of the request if in doubt.” Enabling the “two-step verification” feature is one way to help prevent others from compromising their WhatsApp account.