WhatsApp: how to prevent account theft when voicemail is hacked

WhatsApp scams. (photo: Sites Argentina)

In recent weeks, a large number of users of WhatsApp they reported a new scam on the messaging platform you can seize account Y access the victim’s voicemail. The method of hackers is to exploit a security flaw in the account verification process.

Despite the constant security measures that WhatsApp has implemented in recent years to protect the privacy and user data, this new way to steal an account requires no suspicious links or fake programs. This Infobae note will explain what it is and how to avoid it.

How they can steal a WhatsApp account through voicemail

Many users have been surprised these past three weeks when their accounts got hacked without clicking any links or downloading anything. It turns out that scammers have found a security flaw in WhatsApp.

First, hackers try install a app in the devices using the real phone number of a legitimate user. They use two tactics to do this:

– They usually try at night when many people’s phones are off or they don’t answer;

– Or while a call to the possible victim with some false excuse so that while one is talking, incoming calls go to voice mail.

WhatsApp scams.  (photo: Brand)
WhatsApp scams. (photo: Brand)

During installation, WhatsApp asks the user to choose a method to receive a unique verification code. This can happen through a text message or a phone call. After choosing the second option, the platform makes an automatic call to the victim with a six-digit code.

Because the victim is talking, sleeping, or the cell phone is off, the automated message is left as voicemail. Keep in mind that almost all cell phone companies allow the remote voicemail access for all users using the same number and four-digit PIN.

To access voicemail, the scammer just has to call and enter the passwordwhich, if the victim has never changed it, is usually a simple combination like 0000 or 1234. This allows him to listen to the verification code and access the user’s WhatsApp.

WhatsApp voicemail scams.  (photo: post)
WhatsApp voicemail scams. (photo: post)

How to prevent a WhatsApp account from being hacked

There are two ways to protect yourself from this type of fraud:

– First, it is very important to change the PIN to use the default incoming voicemail. This can be done in your phone’s voicemail settings or by calling your carrier.

– To increase security, it is important to enable two-factor authentication on a WhatsApp account. To do this, in the instant messaging applicationgonna Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification > Activate.

WhatsApp two-step verification.  (photo: TEC)
WhatsApp two-step verification. (photo: TEC)

How to turn off voicemail on a smartphone

– On iPhone

1. Open the app Telephone.

2. Click on Keyboard.

3. Write #004# and click on To call.

4. A message will appear to confirm deactivation of voicemail.

5. Finish the operation by clicking To close.

Disable voicemail on an iPhone.  (photo: iPhone/Composition/Jose Arana)
Disable voicemail on an iPhone. (photo: iPhone/Composition/Jose Arana)

– On Android

1. Open the application of the Telephone which is installed by default.

2. Now enter the following MMI code: ##002#.

3. Automatically, the voice mail will be deactivated.

4. Otherwise, the following message may appear: “Call forwarding. All for all basic servers. Connection problem or incorrect MMI code”, it means that the operator does not have it enabled.

5. To deactivate it, you simply have to contact the operator that provides telephone services.

Voicemail on Android.  (photo: Android Chief)
Voicemail on Android. (photo: Android Chief)


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