WhatsApp is a prime target for crooks – so spotting the warnings signs of a dangerous text can help you stay safe.
Even messages that seem to come from friends or family can be a sinister trap.
So you need to watch out for anyone asking for personal information.
We spoke to cyber-experts who revealed the tell-tale signs of a WhatsApp scam.
And texts from unknown numbers can be one of the biggest clues.
“Scam messages often come from unknown numbers. If you keep a tidy contact list they will be easier to spot,” said Brian Higgins, security specialist at Comparitech, speaking to The Sun.
“They also disguise themselves as official messages, offering tech support to solve problems you probably didn’t know you had for example, or telling you you’ve won a prize.
“Always make sure you’re running the most up to date version of any platform and you can confidently delete the first one.
“Then think about how many times in your life you’ve won a prize for absolutely no reason at all and you can get rid of the second one too.
“Try to think before you click and don’t let FOMO scare you away from the ‘delete’ button. It’s your best way to stay safe.”
If you’re a regular WhatsApp user, you need to be on high alert.
WhatsApp has more than 2billion users, so it’s often targeted by crooks.
We spoke to cyber-expert Tom Davidson to get his three top tips for spotting scams on Meta-owned WhatsApp.
Here’s what Tom, a senior director at security firm Lookout, told The Sun…
Tom’s three WhatsApp warnings
Here’s what you need to look out for:
Messages coming from unknown contacts that try to get you to interact, especially if the spelling or grammar seems off.
The same goes for messages from known contacts that sound different to usual.
Messages with unsolicited offers like free giveaways, prize drawers or discounts, even if they appear to come from a reputable brand and especially if they ask you to submit personal details.
Any messages that include clickable links that you were not expecting to receive.
To be safe you can manually type the link into another browser.
Attackers may use special characters in the message to disguise a malicious link that looks at first glance like a familiar or reputable site.
Staying safe on WhatsApp
There are some other key security tips you can take advantage of.
The first is to make sure you keep your phone and apps updated with the latest software patches.
These updates often include important security fixes that squash bugs used by hackers to attack your device.
And you should also be generally wary of anyone asking for personal information (like credit card details or login codes), even if the text appears to be coming from a friend.
If a hacker gains access to your WhatsApp account, you can kick them out by logging back in again.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.