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New scam in WhatsApp invades user accounts in Brazil. Learn how to protect yourself

A report broadcast yesterday (12/12) on the program Globo Fantástico, showed that a new type of scam is threatening WhatsApp users. In it, accounts are cloned and bandits use this access to extort the contacts of the victims, asking for money and sensitive information. Below you will find details on how this scheme works and a tip on how to protect yourself and keep your account more secure.

This type of scam is not quite new, but its repercussion in the mainstream press serves to alert numerous users of instant messengers, especially those who use their mobile phone number as a basis for registration and access to accounts. The report featured by Fantástico showed details of how criminals are cloning WhatsApp accounts and taking advantage of the victim's identity to extort their contacts.

In some cases, this coup was successful, since some victims even made deposits and transfers between R $ 800,00 and R $ 1,000,00 for the scammers, who were relatives of these victims.

Account cloning allows a number of WhatsApp to be enabled on another smartphone. As we know, some information is synced upon first access, such as profile picture and recent contacts. According to Ronaldo Prass, an expert heard in the report, for this bridge to happen it is necessary that an operator of the operator assist by granting the victim's telephone number to the specialized gang.

whatsapp blow network tv
Account cloning scheme / Globe Network

In this case, shown by the report, a Vivo employee was caught red-handed inside an operator store. In their WhatsApp police identified the scheme and dialogues that involved receiving bribes so that it could clone cell numbers within the operator. The fraud occurred in the states of So Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Paraba, Maranho and the Federal District.

With the user account in hand these users have little time to act, as in a matter of minutes WhatsApp identifies that the same phone number is running simultaneously on different handsets. However, this short time is more than sufficient for the blow to be applied.

How to Avoid WhatsApp Account Cloning

It is noteworthy that this is only a case in the media, but it is possible that other bandits and gangs are acting in similar schemes in other states and cities. Last week WhatsApp announced the arrival of the two-step authentication feature, which adds a password to the messenger, which is requested whenever the phone number is being activated on another device.

This feature falls like a glove in preventing this account cloning scam, since only with the password will be able to access user information on a new device, be it Android or iPhone.

whatsapp verifi two steps
WhatsApp 2-Step Verification / AndroidPIT

Go to WhatsApp settings and click "Account". Then select "2-Step Verification" and enter password and email address for recovery.

Are you using two-step authentication in WhatsApp? Have you ever been a victim of an app scam?

(tagsToTranslate) WhatsApp scam (t) WhatsApp scam (t) WhatsApp cloning (t) WhatsApp account cloning (t) Cloned account WhatsApp (t) 2-step verification