Cybercriminals are once again targeting messenger services. Users can quickly lose access to their accounts via a new WhatsApp scam. We explain the background.

Now it’s WhatsApp’s turn again. As Computer Bild reports, a new scam is spreading in the messenger service. Users can lose access to their accounts within a very short time.

How does the new WhatsApp scam work?

Those affected first receive a message via the messenger service. In this message, they are asked to call a specific message. If they actually dial the number, their WhatsApp account is terminated.

As Computer Bild writes, each of these phone numbers is preceded by a GSM code. These codes can be used to quickly change the connection settings of a cell phone provider.

The phone numbers sent via WhatsApp therefore each contain the code for activating call forwarding. This means that all future calls go directly to the scammers.

What does this have to do with the WhatsApp account?

The cybercriminals can also use the described scam to store a new phone number in the respective WhatsApp account. This is because the control call from WhatsApp when setting up a new phone also ends up with the fraudsters.

This way, the legitimization is very simple and the victims can get rid of their account in no time at all. The scammers, on the other hand, now have access to their victims’ chats. As is often the case, the criminals demand money from the contacts.

But they are also targeting the further distribution of the fraudulent phone numbers. The goal is to obtain even more WhatsApp accounts.

How widespread is the WhatsApp scam in our country?

The new WhatsApp scam was discovered by Indian security expert Rahul Sasi. On his Twitter account, he wrote that the new scam is currently occurring primarily in India.

According to Sasi, the GSM codes **67* and 405 are primarily used in India. In Germany, the GSM code **21* would be used for the call detour described.