The WhatsApp profile picture scam is affecting several people in Italy. Here's how it works and how to defend yourself
The profile picture of WhatsApp helps us to understand who sent a message in case the number is not saved in the address book. Although small in size, it takes little to guess if we know the sender of the message. Unfortunately, in recent days the profile photo of WhatsApp is at the center of a scam that is affecting dozens of people.
This is not the first time that WhatsApp is targeted by scammers. Several times we have told you about the scams that are concocted on the social network and that try to steal information such as your bank account number or credentials to access your email or home banking service. This time, however, the scam is much more dangerous and aims to get money directly from the victims. The "profile picture" scam is very clever and not easy to spot. The scammer pretends to be your friend or relative and asks you for financial help to overcome a difficult moment. Here's how the WhatsApp scam works.
WhatsApp profile photo scam
The new scam that is hitting WhatsApp targets users' profile photos. How does it work? This is a fairly ingenious scam that is not very easy to recognize. The scammer steals an image from a person's WhatsApp profile and inserts it as their account photo. At this point, he contacts a relative or friend of the person whose image he stole, asking for a PostePay recharge for a financial emergency that has also forced him to change his phone number.
If the victim of the scam does not think to contact the friend or relative at the "old" number and blindly trusts the message, he will fall into the trap of the attacker and lose his money. Once the PostePay recharge is made, it is impossible to recover the money and the only solution is to file a complaint to the Postal Police.
How to defend yourself against WhatsApp scam
The profile photo scam is targeting many people in recent days and unfortunately the victims are more than one. Usually the amount of money requested by the scammer is very low, a few tens of euros. Also for this reason the victims do not ask too many questions and immediately send the money to the alleged friend or relative.
What to do to defend themselves from the scam? There is only one solution. If you are contacted by a number that you don't have in your address book with the profile picture of your friend, try to contact him at the old number to be sure that it is not a scam.