How to prevent yourself from joining cyber scam groups on WhatsApp

Ways to scam through communication platforms such as WhatsApp They are very varied. The most common thing is that they develop through one to one conversations in the application, in which one fine day you find that an unknown contactusually from a number with a prefix from another country, opens a conversation to propose you a job offer as interesting as fraudulent or other tricks that cyber scammers use to end up getting your money.

Less common, although they also occur, are deceptions orchestrated through WhatsApp groups in which they seek to give credibility to the scam based on the fact that in said group 10 or 20 other people are participating. If there are so many people talking about a certain topic, it seems less likely to be a scam.

A scam that has been circulating in recent weeks is the one that adds you to cryptocurrency discussion groups in which you suddenly find yourself surrounded by a series of users who are very happy making money with them. They are WhatsApp groups that are named following a number: 'cryptocurrency discussion group 851', for example, or '952', '1164', etc. They remain active for a few days before closing and disappearing, probably after some of the people who have been added without requiring consent have threatened to report or expressed doubts about the group. It is also common that, before its closure, more and more messages are seen deleted by the administrator, possibly denouncing the irregularity of its operation.

In these cases, the group is opened by a phone number with a suspicious prefix such as +62, +27 or +60, but never with the +34 that corresponds to Spain. After the union of a second or third number with a foreign prefix, the bulk of members who use national prefixes arrive through invitation links, not directly as in the case of the victim.

From there a conversation begins in which everyone participates, generally expressing themselves with the same tone, form and grammatical correctnesswhich suggests that at least some of the rest of the participants are also part of the cyber scam supporting messages launched by group administrators.

These can be presented as supposed representatives of Binancefor example, which is one of the main cryptocurrency exchange platforms and which clearly has better things to do than create WhatsApp groups and randomly add phone numbers to promise supposed prizes through representatives like 'Alice', without a last name, or firm analysts like 'David', also without a last name.

What follows is what is expected, conversations with a lot of cryptocurrency jargon in which everyone is making gold without apparent effort and constantly thanking the Alice or David on duty for their good work. They are encouraged to invest in cryptocurrencies for which, when the time comes, the victim is referred to a private conversation, outside the group, in which the deception is consummated..

To avoid finding yourself in this type of situation, it is recommended configure WhatsApp so that you cannot be added to groups by strangers. You must follow these steps:

  • Open WhatsApp and tap on the menu 3 vertical points in the upper right corner of your mobile screen.
  • Choose Settings and then Privacy.
  • Tap on Groups and then in My contacts so that only numbers that are in your phonebook can add you to WhatsApp groups.