It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t know someone who has reported that they’ve already fallen into a scam applied by WhatsApp or, worse, had their own profile picture used on a number that wasn’t theirs and criminals started asking their contacts for money.
But what to do in these cases? What actions should I take when my account is hacked or when I fall into a scam? When should I go to the police to file a police report? And which police should I look for?
To answer these and other questions, Tilt prepared an article that will help you know what to do if you fall into some kind of scam on WhatsApp. Look!
The WhatsApp platform itself offers various services to users on its official support page, including information to assist in tasks such as account recovery and reporting scams where third parties use the image of users and ask for money.
For this, the user must fill out a form made available by WhatsApp with as much information as they have. In the form it is possible to report account theft, the use of your photos by other numbers to practice scams and also request help in cases where the account is stolen by scammers and the user is unable to recover it.
After sending the information about the problem faced, the platform will respond by email in a few days.
Another way to contact WhatsApp and report the problem is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the application itself, following the step by step:
- Go to “Settings”
- Then click on “Help”
- Then “Contact Us” – where the user can report the problem
Report by the app
A scam that has become quite common in recent months is the “job offer”. In it, the user receives a message on WhatsApp saying that he was selected for a part-time job with attractive salaries. The names of well-known companies such as Amazon, Magalu and Mercado Livre are used to convince victims.
In that case, the best thing to do when receiving such a message is to delete and block the sender.
Then, it is worth reporting that message to the WhatsApp platform itself, so that the company knows which numbers are being used in bad faith. To do so, just press and hold the message until the “report” option appears and click on it.
It is also possible to report the contact that sent the false message, just click on the name or number and then on “report”.
By doing this, you will still signal to WhatsApp that that message is problematic and the content will be forwarded to the company’s moderators.
report to the police
The use of fake accounts to deceive contacts is one of the most popular scams.
In that case, the criminal creates a WhatsApp account with a new number, copying his name and profile picture. Afterwards, he contacts his family and friends saying he needed to ′′ change his number ′′ and borrow money, usually via transfer via pix. To convince the victim, the scammer claims to be in urgent situations such as a broken car, payment of a late payment slip, among other situations.
In this case, the user who had the photo used by the scammer must notify his contacts as soon as possible about the scam – it is worth posting on Instagram, Facebook, sending messages through another application, etc.
In addition, it is important that the user calls their telephone operator to report that that particular number is using their image for criminal practices and also report the situation to the police – especially if any of their contacts made the transfer.
- Provide a copy (prints) of the conversations and proof of payment (if it was made by any of your contacts)
- Contact the bank and try to block the amount
- Then go to the nearest Civil Police station to your home
- Register the Police Report and provide as much information as you have (number used by the scammer, account where the transfer was made, etc.)
online incident report
It is also possible to register the incident report online – the police recommend that it be done this way to ease the presence of the police stations. If you are not very familiar with the internet, it is worth asking your children, friends and even neighbors for help.
The online registration of the occurrence is very simple and easy to do.
- Access your state’s Civil Police website
- Click on “Communicate Incident” or “Register Incident”
- Then choose the option “Other crimes” or “Other Occurrences”
- Fill out the form that will open with all the information about the case – the more details you provide, the better
- After filling in all the data, finalize your incident report
- Ready! Your occurrence was recorded in the Civil Police system, which will investigate the situation
If you need to make a complaint to the Civil Police, the number is 181.
Virtual scams can result in arrest
According to Law 14.155/21, the practice of fraud, embezzlement, invasion of devices with the intention of stealing, erasing or changing data, including scams via the WhatsApp application, can result in a sentence of four to eight years in prison.