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Scammers targetting WhatsApp accounts in Lincolnshire

Police have warned people to be alert of scammers stealing social media accounts.

This week, Lincolnshire Police's Cyber Crime Team has received reports of WhatsApp accounts being compromised due to a new scam.

The main aim of the scam is to trick the victim into handing over a one-time code which is necessary to install WhatsApp on another device.

Scam warning
Scam warning

Usually, the scammer will already have access to a compromised WhatsApp account and will contact the victim posing as a known friend.

The scammer then tells the victim that they are struggling to receive their own six-digit installation code and that they have sent it to them instead.

The fraudsters trick their victims into thinking that they’re helping a friend, when in reality they are sending over a six-digit code for their own account.

As soon as the code is handed over to the scammer, they will login to the victim’s account to steal their personal information like the groups they are in or any new messages they receive. They may also ask for money.

Lincolnshire Police has reminded people not to share their six-digit pin with anyone and if asked to send a code by a 'friend', to ignore the message.

People who have fallen victim to the scam should reinstall WhatsApp and ask for a fresh activation code, which will reset the app.

To better protect WhatsApp accounts, two-step verification can be enabled to add an extra layer of security.

To report any suspicious text messages, forward them to 7726. There's no cost involved and it allows the provider to investigate the text and take action if the message is found to be a scam.

Anyone who has lost money following a scam should contact their bank immediately and report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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