Thief Invades Cell Phones and Mimics Acquaintances

According to the expert, the conversation used by scammers tends to create a sense of “agony and urgency” in those on the other side.

Often, they start the conversation by informing that they have a financial problem and request that a transfer be made to pay an urgent bill. They can even send a barcode to give more veracity to the request. Everyone says they will return the value in a short time”
Waldo Gomes, specialist in digital security

Despite being relatively simple, this type of action entered the Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks) list as one of the most common when we talk about scams via Pix.

The institution advises people to be careful with the exposure of data on social networks, especially with sweepstakes and promotions that ask for the registration of the phone number. Febraban also recommends being suspicious of messages from new contacts, especially asking for money urgently.

But is it really a hacker attack on the cell phone?

According to Febraban, no. “The fraud attempts recorded with the pix have been identified as attacks of “phishing“, which consist of deceiving the individual so that he provides confidential information, and does not originate from breaches in the system, which is secure”, guarantees the institution that represents the banks.

“Phishing” uses social engineering techniques that, despite the name, are relatively simple. For example, in possession of a stolen and unlocked cell phone, the crooks have access to the entire WhatsApp conversation history and can use it to give credibility to the scam.

Social engineering can also be used to trick people into giving away personal information that ends up allowing access to WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. A common example is those messages that offer job opportunities or easy income.

By hacking social media, scammers can gain access to more personal information, in addition to places you’ve been, relationships and the way you talk. This is possible because some of these networks keep the conversations in a virtual space, the “cloud”.

With this data, crooks can imitate the way you write, inducing your friends and family to fall for scams.

“The answer is simpler than people imagine. Interpersonal means of communication speed up our daily lives, but when in doubt, call. If a person is intimate enough to ask you for money, this action cannot be proven through a phone call. or personal conversation?”, says Gomes.

How not to fall for scams

The solution to avoid falling for the Pix scam via WhatsApp is simple: just confirm that the person on the other end asking for money is really your friend or relative, either through a phone call or a conversation outside of virtual means.

Experts also recommend that you confirm some story or information that only you would know, such as where you met, when you last met in person, or even a childhood nickname that is no longer used.

However, you can also take precautions to prevent your data from being used to scam your friends and relatives. “The person who has their WhatsApp cloned usually delivers all the information. They don’t activate the two-step confirmation and deliver the security code”, warns Mathias Naganuma, lawyer, specialist in digital law and professor at the Impacta Faculty of Technology.

Also avoid leaving your life too exposed on social media, as this information can be used to give more credibility to the scam. “In addition to having a very good conversation, the criminal usually knows everything about people’s lives. So, they do these scams because they have everything in hand”, he comments.

It is also important to avoid clicking on unknown links and not to share access codes received via SMS, as they can be the access code to the WhatsApp account.

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