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Fake WhatsApp accounts are posing as the app’s support team. Here’s how to avoid being scammed

Real WhatsApp support agents will never tell users they have to pay to use the chat app
Real WhatsApp support agents will never tell users they have to pay to use the chat app   -   Copyright  Canva
By Euronews

WhatsApp users are being urged to watch out for scammers posing as the chat app's official support team.

Profile pictures featuring the WhatsApp logo and green verified profile badge are clear giveaways, WhatsApp blogger WABetaInfo (WAB) wrote on April 23.

"When you are chatting with a verified contact, there is a verified badge placed next to the contact name in the conversation screen and their chat info," the blog said.

"If you see the verified badge located in a different place, for example, on the profile photo, it means the contact pretends to be verified, but it is trying to fool you," they continued.

WhatsApp users can identify a real verified account by the location of the green verification symbol - a white checkmark on a green background - which should appear to the right of their name.

The scammers hope to gather personal information like credit card details and the six-digit PIN code that keeps the app secure by posing as legitimate customer support agents, the blog said.

A real WhatsApp support agent will never ask for credit card information or PIN codes, the blog warned.

How to spot a WhatsApp scam

If a message looks suspicious... report the message, block the sender, and delete the message
WhatsApp advice

WhatsApp told Euronews Next that it did not have "anything more to share" on the incident reported by WAB, but the company's own advice recommends that users do not engage with suspicious messages.

"If a message looks suspicious or sounds too good to be true, don't tap, share, or forward it. When you receive this type of message, we recommend you report the message, block the sender, and delete the message," WhatsApp's guidance states.

Other signs that an account might not be genuine include misspellings or poor grammar, asking users for personal information or telling them to tap on links, asking them to forward messages and claiming that users have to pay to use WhatsApp, the company said.