FIA warns of cybercriminals targeting WhatsApp accounts, especially women

Official says hacked accounts could be used to disseminate inappropriate material and for fraud

News Desk June 10, 2024
FILE PHOTO: A man poses with a smartphone in front of displayed Whatsapp logo in this illustration September 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has alerted the general public that incidents of hacking of citizens' WhatsApp accounts have increased, with cybercriminals specifically targeting women's accounts.

According to an FIA official, cybercriminals gain access to women's WhatsApp accounts and extract their personal information such as chats, images, and videos, for extortion and blackmail.

The official maintained that cybercriminals are using new methods to gain unauthorised access to WhatsApp accounts, including phishing and social engineering. Phishing involves deceptive messages that lure users into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links.

The official stated that hacked accounts could be used to disseminate inappropriate material and fraud, adding that the FIA advised enabling the two-step verification process in WhatsApp settings, which provides an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorised access to the account.

Also read: FIA cybercrime wing rendered defunct

The FIA further advised to avoid opening messages or media files sent from unknown numbers as they may contain links or files that could harm the software or grant access to the data. Regularly review and update privacy settings on WhatsApp to limit access to personal information, the official added.

However, if a WhatsApp account is hacked, the following steps must be taken immediately:

1) Contact the FIA helpline at 1991 or visit the nearest FIA circle.
2) Contact WhatsApp help to regain control of the account and implement appropriate security measures.
3) Inform close friends, family members, and colleagues about it so they can prevent possible fraud.


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