Scam Alert – All you need to know about the all-too-regular WhatsApp Phishing Scams

January 9, 2024
Musa Nadir Sani

WhatsApp, the world’s most popular Instant Messaging software with over 2 billion active users globally has had its fair share of security concerns over the past couple of years, ranging from data leaks and issues surrounding the privacy of its user’s data to it being used as the primary attack vector for other cyber attacks. 

Due to its popularity, WhatsApp has slowly become a breeding ground for threat actors who use phishing techniques to trick users into divulging private sensitive information or installing malicious software. This usually happens in attack campaigns that often target festive periods with juicy offers and promises of riches.

What are the key risks?

Clicking Suspicious Links:

One of the primary tactics employed by phishing scammers on WhatsApp is the use of phishing links. These links often masquerade as legitimate sources, enticing users to click on them. Once clicked, these links can lead users to fraudulent websites designed to steal sensitive information such as login credentials, personal details, or even financial data. To avoid falling prey to this type of scam, users should exercise caution and refrain from clicking on links from unknown or unverified sources.

Sharing Purported Zoom Passcodes:

As the world transitioned to remote work and virtual meetings in 2020, the use of platforms like Zoom skyrocketed. Exploiting this trend, threat actors devised schemes involving fake Zoom passcodes shared through WhatsApp. Unsuspecting users might receive a message claiming to be from a colleague or friend, urging them to join an urgent Zoom meeting by clicking on a link or entering a passcode. In reality, this is a phishing attempt aimed at tricking individuals into revealing sensitive information. It’s crucial to verify the legitimacy of such messages independently before taking any action.

Responding to Unfamiliar Calls Requesting OTPs:

Another alarming trend within WhatsApp phishing scams involves fraudulent calls. Scammers may initiate calls to users, posing as representatives from well-known platforms such as Telegram or Facebook. During these calls, unsuspecting victims might be asked to provide One-Time Passwords (OTPs) under the guise of account retrieval or security verification. It is imperative to remember that legitimate service providers would never ask for sensitive information like OTPs over a call. Users should exercise extreme caution and refrain from sharing such information.

Protecting Yourself from WhatsApp Phishing Scams:

  • Be skeptical of unsolicited messages or calls, especially if they involve urgent requests for personal information.
  • Verify the identity of the sender through alternative means, such as contacting them directly using known contact details.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your WhatsApp account to add an extra layer of security.
  • Regularly update your WhatsApp application to ensure you have the latest security features.
  • Educate yourself and others about the common tactics used in phishing scams to enhance awareness and vigilance.


As we navigate the ever-expanding digital landscape, understanding the dangers of WhatsApp phishing scams is paramount to safeguarding our online presence. The constant rise in phishing attacks highlights the need for heightened awareness and caution.

By remaining vigilant, questioning the legitimacy of unsolicited messages, and adopting security measures like two-factor authentication, users can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these scams. It’s crucial to share this knowledge with friends, family, and colleagues to create a community that is resilient against the threats lurking in the digital space.

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