One of the current digital problems is the call cloning of Whatsapp, that nothing more than someone can install the application on another cell phone, using your phone number and thus being able to impersonate you to all your friends and contacts.
For more difficulties that the company poses to prevent this type of thing from happening, criminals find creative ways to deceive people and obtain their data.
In this article, we explain how this type of scam happens and how to prevent it.
What cloning WhatsApp?
As you may know, you can only use your phone number with WhatsApp on a single device. If you buy a new phone and install the whats with your account, no longer be able to use it on the old device.
So what they generally call ?cloning WhatsApp? is not exactly a clone. Never exist two whats with the same number running at the same time on two different devices.
Even though the definition is not technically correct, it is called cloning when someone is able to activate WhatsApp on another device using their phone number.
For example: let's say someone you don't know has managed to install WhatsApp on another phone, using your personal number. This person is unable to view the old messages, as the service does not keep the history on its server. However, it will be possible to see the number of all your contacts and thus get in touch with them pretending to be you.
Your friends and family who receive the message from you, will not always know that you are not the one who is writing, and this leaves room for financial scams.
For example, the criminal writes to his aunt, saying that he needs her to deposit R $ 500 for an emergency. She, thinking that you, can believe and deposit the informed bank account. Now imagine it with several of your contacts, and with larger amounts …
How is cloning done?
When you install WhatsApp on a new device, the application asks you to enter your phone number. After that, you receive a temporary code by SMS, to inform in the app and prove that you are yourself.
The problem is when you inform this code to malicious people.
A very common scam happens for those who advertise on product sales sites, such as OLX. The thugs look for ads that show the seller's phone number and call him, posing as ?the OLX security team?.
They use elaborate language and say that to confirm the registration and the ad remains active, you need to inform the code you will receive by SMS. This can happen also via WhatsApp or even within the OLX platform itself.
The code received by SMS has nothing to do with OLX: in fact the WhatsApp installation code. The criminals at this time install WhatsApp on another device and use your number, and the moment you provide the SMS code, they finish the installation and take control of your account.
From there, you will no longer be able to connect on WhatsApp. It works only on the scammer's device, who has access to his contacts and can try to trick them to receive money.
How to protect yourself
To protect yourself from this type of scam, you need to be aware of all types of unusual contact you receive, and take some precautions:
- Never provide any personal data by phone or message if you don't know the person.
- If any stranger contacts you and says that your account is blocked or suspended, try to access it from some other device or computer and check if there is any kind of notice in this regard.
- If you receive a code by SMS that says ?Do not share this code?So don't share, u.
There is a very effective way to protect yourself against this type of scam on WhatsApp: activate the Two-Step Confirmation.
With it, in addition to the code received by SMS, you also activate a fixed password that you only know, in addition to registering an email of yours to receive notices in case of forgotten password. By activating this function, the scammer may even have the SMS code, but without the password, he will not be able to log into his account.
We teach how to activate this function in this other article:
So, the golden tip for those who do not want to have their WhatsApp account hacked: enable 2-step verification on WhatsApp.
They cloned my WhatsApp. And now what do I do?
If your WhatsApp is no longer connecting after some stranger has contacted you, or if the warning appears that it has been activated on another smartphone, it is very likely that your account has been "cloned" without you knowing it.
In this case, take it easy and try the following:
- Uninstall the WhatsApp app from your device and install it again.
- Register your usual phone number and wait to receive the code by SMS.
- Enter the code and connect your account.
This is enough for anyone else to no longer have access to your account. She'll need a new SMS code, but now you're not going to inform her anymore, are you?
What if I ask for a second password?
If you have not activated 2-step verification, it is possible for scammers to activate this function (with their password) for the period that they have been in possession of your account, and this complicates things a lot for you.
To request a confirmation code a second time, it is necessary wait seven days, what too long to wait. So, it is best to contact WhatsApp itself and request to block your account.
- Send an email email@example.com with the following sentence: ?Lost / Stolen: Please disable my account? in the email body.
- Also inform your phone number, in the format +55 (XX) XXXXX-XXXX, the DDD being between the brackets.
As soon as your order is fulfilled, your account is disconnected from all active devices. For reactivate In the account, you must restart the installation process, using the security code received by SMS.
But beware: you have 30 days to reactivate your account, otherwise it will be permanently deleted from WhatsApp servers.