Shomrim Warns Community of WhatsApp Hacking Scam — Keep Your Account Secure

Brooklyn Shomrim came out with an urgent warning of a phone-hacking scam that has been targeting WhatsApp users.


Brooklyn Shomrim came out with an urgent alert, warning of a phone-hacking scam that has been targeting WhatsApp users in the Jewish community.

Although this scam has been around for years, hundreds of Frum Yidden in New York and New Jersey have fallen victim to this brutal scam this week. Many had their bank accounts wiped clean because of the bank account details obtained on their WhatsApp.

This is a flavor of social engineering scams by gaining the user’s trust—by posing as a close contact, even as a spouse, parent or child —to extort the user to gain access to their accounts.

The scam involves a standard message asking the WhatsApp user to send a verification code that they just requested to the user’s phone. The WhatsApp message seems to be coming from one of your close contacts.

This occurs after a hacker has already gained access to someone on your contact list’s WhatsApp account. The scammer messages you, purporting to be one of your contacts, and all messages appear at first glance to be from the person you trust, sometimes a parent, child, sibling or even your own spouse.

During the conversation with this person, you could then receive a message containing a six-digit verification code.

The scammer will pretend and try to convince the victim that it was sent to you by mistake and ask you to give them the code.

If the victim gives the scammer the code, the scammers will log in and have full access to your entire WhatsApp account, including all messages and photos you ever sent on WhatsApp. The scammers will then have access to your contacts by pulling the same scam, pretending to be you and gain access to your message history.

How can we and our loved ones avoid falling victim to this?

Add a Two-step factor passcode to your WhatsApp account. This gives your account a double level of protection from scammers, meaning even if the scammers gain access to your number, they won’t have access to the account itself

Avoid having too many admins in one group. If a hacker hacks into an admin’s WhatsApp account, they have access to the entire group.

WhatsApp provides a number of tips to protect your account:

  • Never message your registration code or two-step verification PIN with others.
  • Enable two-step verification and provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
  • Set a voicemail password on your phone that’s difficult to guess to prevent anyone from accessing your voicemail. Reset all your accounts by requesting an audio verification code by phone call, which then goes to voicemail when the call gets unanswered. (Not just for WhatsApp, but this scam targets your emails, social media, bank account login etc.)
  • Check your linked devices regularly. Go to WhatsApp Settings > Linked Devices to review all devices linked to your account. To remove a linked device, tap the device > Log Out.

It is also recommended to add 2-Step Verification (two-factor authentication) on all your emails, bank and social media accounts that you have.

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  • Bina 07/15/2024 | ט' תמוז התשפ"ד

    Thank you for sharing this information!

  • Crazy Times 07/15/2024 | ט' תמוז התשפ"ד

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Katherine Keyser 07/11/2024 | ה' תמוז התשפ"ד

    Is this only applicable to US I am in SA

  • Nathan 07/10/2024 | ד' תמוז התשפ"ד

    I’ve been one of them got hacked last week Thursday. It’s been so many days. I cannot get my WhatsApp back. They don’t reply. They don’t send anything. How can I get my WhatsApp phone back number please help.

  • Frummie 07/09/2024 | ג' תמוז התשפ"ד

    The best way to protect yourself… DON”T USE WHATSAPP!!

    Your Neshama will thank you.

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