the code scam has now become one of the most frequent scams in WhatsApp and continues to claim victims even though the platform’s developers have taken steps to counter it. The latest demonstration of the insidious nature of the scam dates back to a few days ago, when some service telephones of the municipal administration of Santa Sofia, Emilia-Romagna were affected: the news comes from the municipality’s Facebook page, where encourages citizens to remain alert to the threat.
How the code scam works
The scam is the same one that has been circulating on WhatsApp for years and that Start by sending a text or whatsapp message to the victim.. In the text, the criminals pose as friends or acquaintances of the victim and send the latter a request for help: the sender’s request is transmit 6-digit code just received in a separate SMS. In fact, the victims have just received a 6-digit code by SMS: this is the security measure that WhatsApp takes every time an account associated with a certain phone number tries to access the platform from a new smartphone.
How thieves work
In this way, the platform guarantees that whoever tries to access is the legitimate owner of the telephone number; It goes without saying that if this code is sent to others, receive a password to your identity on WhatsApp. Scammers act this way: they try to access WhatsApp with a phone number to which they simultaneously send an SMS in which they ask the owner to respond with the security code. If that answers, that’s it: the WhatsApp account passes into the hands of criminals, and with that also contacts in the address book who can then be contacted posing as the victim.
The case of Santa Sofia (and Orzinuovi)
This is what happened to Mayor of Santa Sofia, who also alerted citizens from his personal Facebook profile. However, the scam was not limited to the WhatsApp profile of the first citizen: usually, in fact, the scammers use the acquired accounts to advance the scam to new contacts that have just been obtained, often friends, family or colleagues. . That’s why the code scam sometimes it spreads like a virus within entire communities: fortunately among the few comments submitted to the Municipality’s intervention, there are in fact those who received the same type of message, but just a few weeks ago something similar happened in Orzinuovi, Lombardy.
How to protect yourself
Fortunately, protecting yourself from these attacks is easy. At first never answer no message requesting to transmit 6-digit codes, even if the sender is a known person. Alternatively and to put your heart at peace, you can activate thetwo-factor authentication on WhatsApp allows you to set a separate PIN code from the 6-digit code that must be remembered but protects accounts against theft of this type.