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Latest scam tricks users into paying for free service

Latest scam tricks users into paying for free service
© Pablocalvog | Dreamstime.com

Cybercriminals are extremely sneaky when plotting their attacks. They will go to great lengths to find new victims.

One popular tool for criminals is a phishing attack. This, of course, is when the scammer sends fraudulent messages, hoping the recipient clicks on a malicious link. Now, there is a new phishing attack targeting users of a popular messaging app that you need to know about.

What's the latest phishing attack?

Users of the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, are being targeted with a phishing attack. A message is being sent to users claiming that their subscription has expired and they need to verify their account. The message also offers the chance to purchase a lifetime subscription for a small fee by clicking a link provided in the message.

Warning, do NOT click on the link, it's a scam!

Image: Example of WhatsApp phishing scam message.

Users who click the link are taken to a fraudulent site. There, they are asked to enter payment information.

This is all an elaborate phishing scam and has actually been going around for a few weeks now. However, more users are reporting the scam, so it's ramping up and being sent to more potential victims.

This type of hoax seems to pop up on messaging sites frequently. So much so that WhatsApp has instructions on how to handle them on its site. Here is what you should do if you receive one of these messages:

  • Block the sender of the message
  • Disregard the message
  • Delete the message
  • Never forward these messages - this will prevent exposing your contacts to potential harm

How to defend against phishing attacks:

  • Be cautious with links - If you get a text or email that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It could be a phishing attack. It's always better to type a website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link. Before you ever click on a link, hover over it with your mouse to see where it is going to take you. If the destination isn't what the link claims, do not click on it.
  • Watch for typos - Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
  • Have strong security software - Having strong protection on your family's gadgets is very important. The best defense against digital threats is strong security software.
  • Use unique passwords - Many people use the same password for multiple websites. This is a terrible mistake. If your credentials are stolen on one site and you use the same username and/or password on others, it's simple for the cybercriminal to get into each account. Click here to find out how to create hack-proof passwords.
  • Set up two-factor authentication - Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, means that to log in to your account, you need two ways to prove you are who you say you are. It's like the DMV or bank asking for two forms of ID. Click here to learn how to set up two-factor authentication.
  • Check your online accounts - The site Have I Been Pwned allows you to check if your email address has been compromised in a data breach.

Always stay vigilant when it comes to messages from someone that you don't know. And be on the lookout for errors in messages that are supposedly from the company itself.

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