published 2. June 2022, 15:55
Criminals are trying to drag accounts from Whatsapp users. You will be asked to call the number. You should be especially careful at this time.
Cyber criminals attack Whatsapp accounts.
They try to convince their victims to call a mysterious number.
If you dial a number that looks like this, all calls will be diverted to another number.
You get the number via Whatsapp or other messenger, call and hey, presto you lose access to your own account. This scam, which first appeared in India, is currently circulating on Whatsapp Messenger.
The trick of the scammers is as nasty as it is simple, writes Computerbild.de. Because the number sent is preceded by the so-called GSM codes – these are control and service commands from the old days, when there were no smartphones. The codes are part of the GSM mobile communication standard and are still active.
This is how theft works
For example, typing * # 06 # on your phone will display your device’s IMEI number and serial number. For example, with the combination * 21 * 044xxxxxxx #, all calls to your own number in Switzerland will be diverted to the specified destination number. Cyber criminals take advantage of this. If they can motivate their victim to actually call that enigmatic number – and also ignore the warning that pops up on their cell phone – the acquisition will be successful.
Because now all calls are forwarded to the number. Since, for example, a new Whatsapp device can also be verified via a control call, it is now easy to take over the account. If successful, it will be difficult for victims to regain access to it. Cyber criminals can change the number and thus gain full control of the account, writes Spiegel.de. This opens up more opportunities for them to continue scamming and sending messages to more contacts.
This is how you protect yourself
So what can you do about it? The answer is simple: be careful. At best, you shouldn’t just call an unknown number anyway – even if it contains cryptic characters. If you dialed a cryptic number despite the warning, you can possibly prevent theft if you are quick enough. Call forwarding can be disabled with the GSCM # 21 # code.
Whatsapp users face cybercriminals repeatedly. The last big wave took place in 2021. At that time, a dangerous SMS was circulating around Switzerland. He said you had new voicemail. If you click on a link in an SMS, you have come across dangerous malware. Kapo Zurich also warned about the scam and the Flubot Trojan.
Flubot is no longer a threat to Android mobile phones: according to Europol, a group of around ten police authorities – including those in Switzerland – have successfully deactivated the malware. The servers were shut down by the Dutch police.