WhatsApp OTP Scam — How it works and how to stay safe

WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular instant messaging platforms. This means that the service is also prone to several attacks and scams, especially in the developing countries in India where there are several new internet users who are usually not aware of securities and thus, more susceptible to fraud.

Now, a new form of scam has surfaced online where the hacker tries to get full access to your current WhatsApp account.

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How does it work?

The scammer sends you personalized messages claiming to be your friends and then talks about some kind of emergency. Then you are asked to forward an OTP that the scammer pretends to have been mistakenly sent to your number.

Once the OTP is shared, the scammer will use it to set up a WhatsApp account using your phone number and you will be locked out of your current account. This will give full access to your WhatsApp account, including your messages and groups with whom you shared the OTP.

How to prevent this?

One of the features that WhatsApp offers exactly for such situations is 2FA or two-factor authentication. You can enable 2FA on your WhatsApp account by going to Settings > Account > Two-step verification and then click on the “Enable” option.

Do note that WhatsApp does not send you any OTP unless it is requested by you. So, if you haven’t requested it and still you have received it, then it means that someone else has done so on your behalf. As a rule of thumb, you should never share your OTP or personal information with anyone else.