Beware of WhatsApp OTP scam: Here's how to safeguard yourself from online fraud

Last Updated : 26 November 2020, 06:40 IST

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For long cyber experts and even government and financial institutions have been warning citizens never to share One-Time-Password (OTP) with anybody on phone. And yet, many are falling prey to the tricks played by hackers and lose hard-earned money or sensitive information.

Now, in the latest instant, WhatsApp users are getting hoodwinked by bad actors. The modus operandi is the same. They pose as friends or a desperate fellow citizen, who accidentally sent a 6-digit OTP code to the wrong phone number (yours). They ask the victim to pass it on to them so that they can complete an urgent money transaction.

For instant attention, they give dramatic excuses that they have to pay hospital bills or college fees. DO NOT FALL FOR THESE ACTS.

If not, they will take over the WhatsApp account on the web and access your contacts' phone numbers and also photos, financial details if shared on the messenger app with a loved person. And, this will lead to a vicious cycle, as the bad actor will take note of the contact details and play the same trick on your friends and family members.

We are not sure we stressing this enough, but WhatsApp users or any mobile phone owners never share an OTP with anybody via SMS or on a phone call.

Also, it is advised to set up two-factor authentication to safeguard from hackers taking over your account.

Here's how to activate two-step security verification on WhatsApp:
Step 1: Open WhatsApp Settings.
Step 2: Tap Account > Two-step verification > Enable.
Step 3: Enter a six-digit PIN of your choice and confirm it. Provide an email address you can access or tap Skip if you don’t want to add an email address.
Note: It is highly recommended to add an email address as this allows you to reset two-step verification, and helps safeguard your account.
Step 4: Tap Next.
Step 5: Confirm the email address and tap Save or Done.

Not just WhatsApp, cybercriminals posing as Income Tax officials or bank executives, use emails and phone calls to trick people to reveal their financial details. Beware of these activities.

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Published 26 November 2020, 06:38 IST

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