In recent days, a large number of users have reported the new modality used by criminals to steal their data. This is a new scam that they carry out when they manage to take over the voicemail of their victims, a method that consists of taking advantage of a security flaw in the account verification process.

How do they carry out this scam?

First of all, criminals try to install the app on their devices using a user’s real phone number. In general, it does it at night, when people sleep or during a call to the victim with some false excuse so that while they are talking, incoming calls are not answered and go directly to voice mail.

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During the installation process, WhatsApp asks us to select a means of receiving a verification code. It can be through an SMS or a call. If the second option is chosen, the platform will make an automated call to the victim with the six-digit code dictated. Since the victim does not respond, the automated message is left as voicemail.

Not a minor fact is that almost all cell phone companies allow remote access to said voice mail through the same number for all users and with a four-digit PIN code. In this way, to access the voicemail, the scammer only has to call and dial the password, which, if the victim never changed it, is usually the combination 0000 or 1234. Thus, they will be able to listen to the verification code and access WhatsApp of the user.

How to avoid falling for this scam?

1.Change the PIN code to access the voice mailbox that comes by default. This can be done from your phone’s voicemail settings or by calling your carrier.

2.Activate two-factor authentication on your WhatsApp account to add an extra layer of security.