Part-time scam: is it worth reporting a message on WhatsApp? What’s going on? – 06/17/2022

You may already know that that job offer randomly received via SMS and now also on WhatsApp is the scam of the moment.

The text reads like this: “Congratulations, you have been selected for an online part-time job, 300 to 5,000 reais a day”. The names of famous companies like Amazon and Mercado Livre are being used to convince potential victims.

Know that you and likely all your contacts have received or will receive the message, which acts as bait to make you click on a malicious link.

It’s the old phishing scam: the criminal tricks you into clicking the link, redirects you to a WhatsApp conversation, and a fake employer starts a conversation to steal your data or convince you to make a Pix using social engineering — when the scammer convinces victims to do things without them realizing it’s a scam.

The strategy is so common that it has become a joke.

I can’t stand being selected for part-time work online, with a salary of 5000 lol

— Pedrinho (@pedridomec_) April 25, 2022

What to do in the face of a blow?

The best thing to do if you get such a message is to delete and block the sender. This, in theory, helps prevent new scams from reaching your inbox.

WhatsApp allows you to report specific messages for violating the app’s rules or the scammer’s contact.

message - Disclosure/WhatsApp - Disclosure/WhatsApp

WhatsApp allows you to report specific messages

Image: Disclosure/WhatsApp

How to report?

To report a single or older message, you can simply press and hold the message until the “report” option appears and tap on it. Or report a contact by clicking on the name or number and then “Report”.

By doing so, you will still be signaling to WhatsApp that that specific message is problematic and the content will be forwarded to the company’s moderators.

A third party uses more than a thousand “content moderators” for WhatsApp complaints, just like on other Meta platforms, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram.

What happens when there is a complaint?

When reporting a contact, a copy of recent messages is sent in unencrypted form so moderators can read and review the case.

Then, an artificial intelligence compares the unencrypted data of that account with a bank of “suspicious attitudes”, such as sending mass messages to several people at the same time, for example.

If there is a match, a WhatsApp moderator is alerted and can choose to take a look at the messages or not, and then decide whether to put the reported user under surveillance or kick them out of the app.

But that’s just what happens when you report it: the user will likely be blocked from sending new messages — until they get another SIM card.

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