WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service in the world, so much so that the word "text messaging" has almost become synonymous with the Facebook-owned app, but recent scams have raised privacy concerns.
The danger of these operations is that they are fraudulent to some unofficial measures to penetrate someone's WhatsApp account, and access personal chats, photos and videos.
Fraud is on the rise in developing countries, and WhatsApp is people's first tool, and many users have reported security breaches on their accounts.
So, what is the WhatsApp scam using "one time password" which is called "OTP"?
How can you protect yourself from it?
How does the fraud work?
According to numerous user reports, the one-time password scam involves a hacker pretending to be your friend or someone offering a service or asking for help.
He sends you a text message in which he talks about some kind of emergency, asks for help, or promises to win a prize.
Then, they will send your One Time Password (OTP) to your number and request that you send it.
If you send this code in the chat, your WhatsApp number will be logged out from your smartphone and all your personal information will be in the reach of the hacker.
How does the breakout happen?
Imagine that you got a new device and wanted to transfer your account to WhatsApp. Simply WhatsApp sends the one-time password to your old phone. Imagine that you send this word to someone else?
So you gave him the right to access your WhatsApp account from another device, and this is exactly what the hackers do, who put the victim's number on the WhatsApp account as if he were asking to transfer WhatsApp to a new device.
Based on this request, WhatsApp sends the one-time password to the victim's old phone, and by fraud the hacker asks the victim to send this number by various means.
With this trick, a hacker can access your personal photos and videos and publish them publicly without your knowledge.
He or she may ask you for a ransom for your data, and may blackmail you to transfer money or its equivalent over the Internet.
Moreover, the fraud may affect your friends and family who think that the hacker could access them for the one-time password, in the same way they deceived you.
Ransomware scams are dangerously common as smartphone users only realize their impact after they are affected (Reuters)
How to protect yourself from one-time password fraud?
You can keep your smartphone secure by using a password and biometric measures such as fingerprint or face together if possible, and you can further secure your WhatsApp account by enabling two-factor authentication.
To do this, open the WhatsApp app, tap Settings (the three-dot menu on Android), the bottom icon in “iOS”), tap Account, and enable two-step verification.
At this step, you can choose a 6-digit PIN of your choice.
This way, you will have to enter it in advance whenever you register your phone number on any device with WhatsApp again.
Another useful way to steer clear of these attacks is not to disclose the one-time password to anyone, regardless of which app it belongs to.
Even if a friend remotely needs it, call them and make sure your friend's phone is not hacked and only share it once you verbally confirm it without sending it.
Ransomware scams have become dangerously common, as smartphone users do not realize their impact until they are affected by it.
With the amount of data on our devices these days, it is important to remain vigilant and not be lazy or indulgent especially when it comes to sharing sensitive information for messaging, banking or other mobile applications.
This comes as a reminder that any type of information can be leaked through your device by you and not thanks to the intelligence of the hacker, and therefore preserving your privacy and security is your responsibility in the first place.