What you need to know
- Some fake WhatsApp Support accounts are appearing on the instant messaging service.
- Don’t supply information to fake accounts.
- You can learn how to spot a fake account below.
It’s all about that verified checkmark.
Fake WhatsApp Support accounts are popping up and asking people to provide personal information, according to a new report. At first blush, the accounts can look genuine, but clearly aren’t when given further investigation.
As noted by WABetaInfo, some accounts claim to be the official WhatsApp Support account and even appear to have a verified badge. However, that verified checkmark is actually part of the account’s profile picture and in the incorrect spot — a sign that is easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for, but easy to miss if you don’t.
As you can see in this screenshot, we show two different WhatsApp accounts: chat info for the fake and the official WhatsApp Support profile. When you are chatting with a verified contact, there is a verified badge placed next to the contact name in the conversation screen and their chat info. If you see the verified badge located in a different place, for example, on the profile photo, it means the contact pretends to be verified, but it is trying to fool you.
These contacts want to get some private information from you, for example, your credit card details to avoid terminating your WhatsApp account. In some cases, they also ask for your 6-digit code to log into your WhatsApp account!
If you receive a message from an account like this, beware. Report it as suspicious and move on — don’t provide any information.
Fake accounts are nothing new on WhatsApp and it remains one of the best iPhone apps for people who need to stay in touch with friends and family. But by impersonating a support account it’s possible these people may be able to con others into handing over the kind of information they might otherwise keep to themselves.