New Delhi: World’s most favoured messaging application, WhatsApp, has become the latest target of hackers and scamsters. The new entrant in the hacker market is the ‘Kidnap scam’ (as it is informally called) which compromises WhatsApp to exploit and extort money from the user.

Reportedly, hackers impersonate a user and call their service provider alleging that they have lost the SIM. Following this, they are issued another SIM that also gives them access to an OTP using which they can open the WhatsApp account already registered on the number.

The hack starts now. With the WhatsApp access, the hacker starts to send distress messages to all contacts- which usually read that the user has been kidnapped and held for ransom.

Unsuspecting relatives and friends then start sending money to the impostor, thus being conned clandestinely.

SINGAPORE, SOUTH AFRICA IN GRIP

Recently, as many as 10 people in Singapore reported to have been conned through the ‘Kidnap scam’, wherein their WhatsApp was compromised to send money and gifts to unknown addresses.

Several cases were also reported from South Africa last week, with even government officials being targeted.

HOW TO SAFEGUARD YOURSELF?

There is no anti-hack feature or update available to bulwark you against this extortion scheme. Therefore, to safeguard your interests, stay alert and reach out to the person whose distress signal you receive on WhatsApp before extending help.