WhatsApp scam: Andhra Pradesh woman loses Rs 21 lakh after clicking on a link received on WhatsApp
Another day, and here’s yet another WhatsApp scam. Online fraud cases have seen significant growth in the last few years, especially due to the pandemic when people were dependent on the Internet for almost everything. Most scammers use WhatsApp, used by millions of users, to trick users and steal their hard-earned money. The latest online fraud incident comes from Andhra Pradesh, where a retired teacher was tricked and hackers managed to steal lakhs of money. And this happened through WhatsApp.
Varalakshi, a resident of Reddeppanaidu Colony in the Annamayya district’s Madanapalle town, registered a complaint to the local police after receiving the “money has been deducted” message. As per reports, the victim lost the money from her bank account after clicking on a WhatsApp link she received from an unknown contact. It is reported that the scammers hacked into her bank account after she clicked on the link and then the sum of 21 lakh was debited from her account all at once.
After scammers managed to empty her bank account, she contacted the bank and was informed that her account had been compromised and and Rs 21 lakh has been stolen from her account. She later informed the cyber crime department.
The police then figured that the money was debited after the victim clicked on a WhatsApp link. The police officials also said that the cases of cyber crime via WhatsApp links have seen a significant increase in recent times. The officials also said that in such cases, scammers send malicious links to users, which look real or authentic. On clicking the link, scammers mostly get access to the victim’s phone and personal details, including the bank account.
How to stay safe from such scams?
Given the rising cyber fraud incidents through WhatsApp, it’s tough to identify such scams. However, there are some tricks using which you can identify such scams:
One should never click on links received from an unknown person or number.
Ensure that the link is authentic. To do so, check the url properly. Click on links that are official websites only.
For instance, avoid clicking on links with fishy extensions like ‘gov.in.co’ or ‘co.com’ which look authentic but are not.
Never click on links or messages that claim monetary benefit. Such messages are mostly sent by scammers.
Never share such messages with others.