We have curated a list of WhatsApp scams that have been making rounds in 2023. Pixabay

There are multiple types of WhatsApp scams making the rounds in 2023. WhatsApp has over a whopping 2 million monthly active users. So, it is one platform that scammers can effortlessly exploit to steal users' identities or even money.

In fact, WhatsApp seems to have become one of scammers' favorite platforms for finding their targets recently. According to a report by tech.co, US-based WhatsApp users lost $770 million (about £621,528,600) to social media scams last year.

Scammers used text messaging apps like WhatsApp to send 66 billion spam texts in 2022, according to an Aura report. Furthermore, the report claims Americans could end up losing $28 billion (about £ 22,545,012.00) to these scams this year. So, let's take a look at the latest scams that have popped up on WhatsApp in 2023.

Mom, Dad impersonation scams

It is no secret that people usually trust their family members the most. As a result, a considerable number of malicious actors on WhatsApp impersonate a victim's child to ask for money. Unsuspecting parents are tricked into transferring funds into a malicious actor's bank account.

The "Hi Mom, Hi Dad" scam is the most common form of this con trick. The threat actor contacts the parents using a new phone number. The scammer adopts social engineering techniques to convince their victim that their account isn't working. Once persuaded, gullible parents either end up sharing their personal information or sending money to these scammers.

Part-time job scam

A woman from Noida, India recently lost Rs. 438,000 (about £4258) in a "YouTube likes" scam. A TimesNow report claims the woman received a WhatsApp message, offering her a part-time job. As expected, she rushed to call the contact number provided in the malicious message.

The fraudster informed the woman that her part-time job involves commenting on and sharing some YouTube videos. The malicious actor then asked the woman to connect via a Telegram platform. After joining the group, she was assigned tasks for which she was initially paid.

After earning her trust, the woman was assigned a "prime task" wherein she fell victim to the cybercrime when she was asked to make a huge investment. The victim soon realised she had been duped and filed a complaint at a police station. The WhatsApp user could've cross-checked the basic information about the caller to avoid falling prey to this scam.

"My phone is broken" scam

Reports about this WhatsApp scam began circulating on the internet in October 2022. As part of this scam, a threat actor sends a WhatsApp message from a new number claiming to be a family member or friend of the victim. The fraudster says their "phone is broken," further explaining that the new number belongs to a friend.

Next, the threat actor will urge the victim to urgently transfer money to a bank account to pay a fine, bill, or something similar. This is also known as "push payment fraud."

Getting random international calls on WhatsApp

Lately, a lot of people have been receiving unknown calls from international numbers starting with +60, +62, +84, +27, and more. Based on the ISD codes, it is safe to say that these calls are usually from countries like Ethiopia, Vietnam, Kenya, and Malaysia. It is still unclear why these calls are being made to WhatsApp users.

However, the folks at IndiaToday suggest these calls are part of a scam to steal money. Obviously, people should avoid picking up any random calls on WhatsApp. Still. if you end up answering the call, do not acknowledge anything the person has to say. For instance, people are being deceived by a fake part-time job offer.

Wrong number scams

Fraudsters using the wrong number scam to dupe a victim usually adopt long-winded social engineering techniques. The first step involves sending a message from an unknown number. After introducing themselves, the malevolent actors claim they entered the wrong number to justify their message.

Before closing the conversation, the scammers will urge the victim to invest in their business. They will ask for your personal details such as name, location, and more. However, it is worth noting that legitimate businesses do not look for investors in WhatsApp conversations.

Do this to stay safe on WhatsApp

Meta-owned messaging app, WhatsApp spares no effort to ensure the safety of its users. In line with this, the European Commission recently said WhatsApp has agreed to be more transparent about its policy changes. Despite this, WhatsApp has been catching flak lately.

Elon Musk, who ended his reign as Twitter CEO earlier this month, said WhatsApp cannot be trusted. This statement came after Twitter engineer Foad Dabiri accused the messaging app of accessing his phone's microphone even when the app isn't in use.

However, WhatsApp has become an inseparable part of our lives, and we can't stop using the app out of the blue. Nevertheless, we can stay safe on the app by following some simple rules. First, set up 2FA (two-factor authentication) to improve the security of your WhatsApp account.

Setting up 2FA acts as an additional layer of protection when you log in to any app. Before logging into WhatsApp, you'd receive a one-time code on your phone, email, or authentication app. Do not mention your contact number on social platforms like Instagram to let your followers or potential clients contact you.

This allows scammers to contact you as a brand interested in collaborating with you. You can confirm the legitimacy of an email, or message by contacting the brand directly. Also, do not click on suspicious links sent on WhatsApp. Clicking on even a single link can load malware onto your phone or PC. Lastly, report any suspicious activity to WhatsApp.