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What Whatsapp, Telegram Do For Scammers And How Users Can Be Smarter

What Whatsapp, Telegram Do For Scammers And How Users Can Be Smarter

Phishing attacks are the practice of sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source. The goal is to steal sensitive data like bank information, card details, and login information.



According to Google’s Transparency Report, the tech giant detected an average of 46,000 new phishing websites every week in 2020. The rise in internet use coupled with the pandemic has also given rise to more phishing attacks.

Another report showed that remote working since economies went into lockdown to fight COVID-19 opened up new possibilities for cyberattacks. Cyber activities such as phishing, malware, and ransomware grew from fewer than 5,000 per week in February 2020 to more than 200,000 per week in late April 2021.



Data provided by Kaspersky Internet Security for Android users revealed that the largest share of detected malicious links between December 2020 and May 2021 was sent via WhatsApp (89.6%), followed by Telegram (5.6%). Viber was in third place with a share of 4.7% and Hangouts had less than one percent. Globally, 480 detections were recorded per day.

 

Kaspersky detected that the largest number of malicious links in WhatsApp was partly due to the fact that it is the most popular messenger globally because it offers the easiest ways to share messages to a large number of people at once thus, it ensures quick propagation of malicious messages.



Vigilance combined with anti-phishing technologies form is a reliable tool in the fight against phishing in messenger apps.



How to reduce the risk of falling foul of scams on messaging apps

  • Be vigilant and look for misspellings or other irregularities in links.
  • A ‘chain scheme’ is common practice, where a scammer asks a user to share the malicious link with his contacts which then looks legitimate to other users, as it is from a person they know. Be aware and don’t share any suspicious links with your contacts.
  • Scammers often use WhatsApp and other messengers to communicate with users who were found on a legitimate resource (for example, various marketplaces and accommodation booking services) and also use them as a method of communication in malicious messages. Even if messages and websites look real, the hyperlinks, most likely, will have incorrect spelling, or they can redirect you to a different place.
  • Even if a message or letter came from one of your best friends, remember that their accounts could also have been hacked. Remain cautious in any situation. Even if a message seems friendly, be wary of links and attachments.
  • Install a trusted security solution and follow its recommendations. Security solutions will solve the majority of problems automatically and alert you if necessary.

 

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