Social network giant Facebook publicized recently that its instant messaging internet app WhatsApp had surpassed one billion users. While Whatsapp helps people stay in touch at low cost, it also has its share of scam artists just like its parent company Facebook. From investment scams to fake updates, Whatsapp users everywhere are targets for cyber criminals. Read on to learn about popular Whatsapp scams.
Zimbabweans have not been spared from these Whatsapp scams. On Monday a woman called as Lissa Mvurume (22) from Harare appeared in court facing two counts of fraud. Lissa Mvurume tricked the victims in to believing that if they deposit money into a bitcoin account, it could multiply after seven days.
However, with the global growth of WhatsApp, more scam-artists around in Zimbabwe are looking to the service to scam anyone, anywhere.
When Techunzipped tried to spoke to Lissa Mvurume she lawyered up.It is allegedthat Lissa Mvurume formed a WhatsApp group and named it “Binary Trading” , which she said was a money making scheme based in the United States of America. She also created an alias called Hasun whom she said was the owner the money making scheme in America.
Techunzipped is reliably informed that when one Engineer Mundoringisa discovered that Lissa was also Hasun and he had tried to email her a number of times but she never replied. The victims we also made to sign investment forms for their investments.
In July Lisa phone number went viral on Whatsapp as Lisa Bitcoin thief. And MMM Whatsapp users warned each other not to fall victims to her scams.
WhatsApp’s tips to protect yourself
Meanwhile, WhatsApp offers the following advice on its blog if you suspect you’re receiving scam messages on the service:
We are all targets of deceptive schemes via WhatsApp or email:
- The sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp or other networks.
- The message content includes instructions to forward the message.
- The message claims you can avoid punishment, like account suspension, if you forward the message.
- The message content includes a reward or gift, such as an extended or free subscription.”
Remember, scams can happen to the most careful among us when we have a lapse in judgement.
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.