Beware of WhatsApp OTP scam: Here’s how to safeguard yourself from online fraud
WhatsApp has become a near-indispensable part of our lives. While the platform makes it convenient to stay in touch and share media, there is always a threat of a WhatsApp account getting hacked giving access to important documents or OTPs shared through the platform. This can be prevented if users have two-factor authentication or two-step verification activated.
Now, in the latest instant, WhatsApp users are getting hoodwinked by bad actors. The modus operandi is the same. They pose as friends or a desperate fellow citizen, who accidentally sent a 6-digit OTP code to the wrong phone number (yours). They ask the victim to pass it on to them so that they can complete an urgent money transaction.
The two-step verification works as an extra layer of security and helps WhatsApp users to protect their OTPs and documents shared through WhatsApp. It is very easy to set-up a PIN to activate a two-step verification PIN. Users have to enter it periodically once it is activated.
Here’s how to activate two-step security verification on WhatsApp:
Step 1: Open WhatsApp Settings.
Step 2: Tap Account > Two-step verification > Enable.
Step 3: Enter a six-digit PIN of your choice and confirm it. Provide an email address you can access or tap Skip if you don’t want to add an email address.
Note: It is highly recommended to add an email address as this allows you to reset two-step verification, and helps safeguard your account.
Step 4: Tap Next.
Step 5: Confirm the email address and tap Save or Done.
In case users forget the passcode, they can access their WhatsApp by going to their email which they have set as their fallback option. WhatsApp will enable users to disable 2 step verification by sending a link on their email.
WhatsApp will periodically ask users to enter their 6-digit passcode. Users cannot disable this without disabling the two-step verification feature or the two-factor authentication. In case users do not provide WhatsApp with an email ID and want to disable two-step verification, then their number will be permitted to re-verify on WhatsApp without the passcode after 7 days. However, users will lose all pending messages upon reverifying. In case users receive an email asking them to click on a link to disable two-step verification when they do not ask for it, they should not click on the link as it can be a hack.