Cyber ​​criminals know only too well that WhatsApp has become one of the most important means of communication for many Dutch people. That is why they are always looking for new ways to steal money from users of the messaging service. NU.nl lists the most used tricks of scammers.

In October NU.nl publishes every weekend on Saturday and Sunday background and tip articles on the theme of cyber security, due to the European Cyber ​​Security Month.

A friend must have money quickly

The most common form of WhatsApp fraud is the trick in which a scammer pretends to be an acquaintance, such as a close friend, son or daughter.

How does that work? The scammer searches online for the data and profile picture of a family member or friend. With this he creates a WhatsApp account and starts apping. The scammer opens the conversation by explaining why he has a different number and then a request for money quickly follows.

For example, a good friend has a rent arrears and must have money quickly to prevent eviction. Or claims a child in an app quickly needs money to pay the energy bill, because otherwise he will be disconnected from the mains. The scammers almost always ask for large amounts of 1,000 euros or more. In addition, there is always a lot of rush and the amount must therefore be transferred quickly.

How do you prevent this from happening to you?

  • Do not simply transfer money with requests via Whatsapp.
  • Do not click on payment links if you are not sure if they come from a friend.
  • Try to meet the person in question or call if you don't trust it.

A bank employee sends a WhatsApp message

Cyber ​​criminals sometimes also act as bank employees. With this trick they send a WhatsApp message that seems to come from your bank. With this they try to gain access to your mobile banking app.

How does that work? In the message, the scammer claims that someone has tried to clear your bank account. That's why you have to reset the mobile banking app, the message is. To do this, the scammer wants your bank details. If you provide the data, the scammer can gain access to your bank account.

How do you prevent this from happening to you?

  • Ignore WhatsApp messages supposedly from your bank, banks don't whatsapp.
  • Let your bank know that fake messages are being sent.

Marketplace scammers often use WhatsApp

Scamming via Marktplaats is certainly not a new phenomenon, but scammers are always coming up with new ways to steal your money. WhatsApp is increasingly being used for this.

How does it work? Via the website for second hand items, the scammer announces that he wants to make a purchase quickly. The asking price is usually offered immediately. However, the scammer would like to first verify the identity of the seller, arguing that there are many scammers on Marktplaats.

That is why he asks for a copy of a bank card and ID proof. This allows the scammer to gain access to the seller's bank account and transfer money to himself.

Marketplace scammers also use another method, whereby they send a payment request of 0.01 euros via WhatsApp. The link leads to a website that is similar to that of a bank, but created by the scammer. This means that the bank details of the victim are stolen.

How do you prevent this from happening to you?

  • Never give a copy of your ID or bank details to strangers.
  • Do not click on the links of people you do not know.
  • Try to meet the person in question if you don't trust it.

Verification code sent by mistake

Sometimes cyber criminals are not directly on the hunt for a bank account, but want to take over WhatsApp accounts. With this they can light up others again.

How does it work? The scammer pretends to be an acquaintance and says he has accidentally sent you a WhatsApp code and asks if you can pass on the verification code. With this code the criminal can install your account on his own telephone and link it to his number.

How do you prevent this from happening to you?

  • Never give your verification code to anyone else.
  • Enable two-step verification for WhatsApp.