The Valentine's Day Scam has targeted many users on WhatsApp: here's how it works and how to defend yourself
It's called the "Valentine's Day Scam" and it's the latest scam set up by malicious people to steal WhatsApp accounts from users. If in recent days you have received a strange message from an unknown number asking for a six-digit code that would arrive in a few minutes on your smartphone, it means that you have been targeted by scammers. Dubbed the "Valentine's Day Scam," it's actually been going around on the messaging app since well before the new year.
The first to sound the alarm were the men of the Postal Police on their official Facebook account. But the messages from the police's IT experts seem to have fallen on deaf ears. In recent weeks, reports from users whose WhatsApp account has been illegally stolen have increased. In all of this, however, there is good news: defending yourself from the "Valentine's Day Scam" is really very simple and it is equally easy to regain possession of your account. Here's how to do it.
Valentine's Day Scam on WhatsApp: how it works
A very simple yet effective ploy. The "Valentine's Day Scam" starts with a message received from a number that we do not know in which we are invited to send him a six-digit code that we will receive shortly on our smartphone. To convince us that this is not a scam, the scammer "disguises" himself as a friend of ours who has lost his smartphone and is contacting us from the cell phone of a person he met on the street.
The six-digit code we receive on our smartphone is nothing more than the authentication code that WhatsApp sends every time we install the app. If we accidentally share this PIN with a person we don't know, we give them the ability to access our WhatsApp account and simultaneously kick us out. This is how scammers manage to steal WhatsApp profiles from people who are unfamiliar with the world of smartphones.
How to defend yourself from WhatsApp Valentine's Day Scam
Protecting your WhatsApp account from the "Valentine's Day Scam" is very simple. First of all, you should never respond to messages of this kind: if a number that you do not know asks us for a PIN or a verification code, delete it immediately. And we also block the contact.
Also, you should never click on any links in this type of messages: in many cases you land on fake sites that have the sole purpose of stealing our personal data or money from our bank account.
How to regain possession of your stolen WhatsApp account
If by mistake you have fallen into the trap of scammers, do not worry, you can still get back on your WhatsApp account. The procedure is very simple: just delete the application, install it again and follow all the steps for signing up. Once you receive the message with the six-digit PIN, enter it in the application and you will re-enter your WhatsApp profile.
The developers are also aware of this issue and have dedicated an article to the topic in the WhatsApp FAQ. Here you will find useful tips on how to protect your WhatsApp account.