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WhatsApp Scam: Abuja NBA reveals tricks of scammers

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…says it’s not hackers handiwork but number change scam
By Emman Ovuakporie
Disturbed by the incessant scam messages sent into WhatsApp groups across the country, Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch (Unity Bar) has exposed the various methods scammers use to infiltrate groups.
In a notice made publi via its Twitter handle today, the body outlined the various tricks they use and how to avoid it.
Recently in Kubwa, a church(name withheld) WhatsApp group was infiltrated and the pastor’s profile was used by the infiltrator.
After consultations with members of the church it was discovered that the pastor only recently changed his device.
But before then a few members of the church were at the verge of participating in the various schemes introduced by the scammer.
A further check confirmed that it was a casual worshipper living not too far from the church was the perpetrator.
It’s a common feature in most WhatsApp groups in the country.
See undernath an example of such schemes-
*THE MAIN CAUSE OF POVERTY IS FEAR & IGNORANCE.*
*THE CAUSE IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT, THE ECONOMY OR RICH PEOPLE.*
*SELF INFLICTED FEAR & IGNORANCE KEEPS PEOPLE BROKE
*Are you a student looking for money to pay* *your school fees,*
*Or a business man/woman looking for money to start up a business*
*YOU CAN’T BE BROKE IN 2019*
*when you have a smartphone with data and friends*
CALL the admin on (08108379161)
*10k to get 20k*
*15k to get 30k*
*20k to get 40k*
*25k to get 50k*
*30k to get 60k*
*35k to get 70k*
*40k to get 80k*
*45k to get 70k*
*50k to get 100k*ETC
Thanks very muc God  bless  everyone here (08108379161)
Read the Abuja NBA Notice via its Twitter handle Below and its findings:
*This is a Public Service Announcement from the NBA Abuja Branch, led by Mr. Folarin Aluko*
Following the alarming rate at which Whatsapp accounts, *including verified accounts* are “hacked” by fraudsters and spammers, the NBA Branch Chairman, Mr. Folarin Aluko, briefed our Tech Law Sub-Committee to investigate the phenomenon, engage with Tech Gurus and find a lasting solution to the problem.
The Sub-C’tees findings are as follows:
*1. Its not a Hack, its a Number Change Scam*
WhatsApp has a feature that allows users to change their numbers and swap devices remotely. The Change Number feature allows you to change the phone number associated with your WhatsApp account. Using the Change Number feature in WhatsApp will migrate your account information (including your profile information), groups and settings from your old phone number to your new phone number; and delete the account associated with your old phone number, *so your contacts can no longer see your old phone number in their lists of WhatsApp contacts.* This is why the Profile picture and status remain the same even after the number has been changed.
Note: When you change your WhatsApp phone number, *only participants that are in group chats with you will see that you changed your number.* The Notification reads like
Detailed information on Number Changes can be found on WhatsApp Website.
*2. The Scam*
To be successful, this scam needs the full participation and cooperation of the Target, albeit unwittingly.
a. The  Scammer initiates the Number Change with a target number remotely. This prompts the Target to receive a Verification Code from Whatsapp.
b. The Scammer then contacts the Target and makes a bogus claim about a promotional opportunity or lottery bonanza or scheme and tells the Target to expect a Verification Code.
c. The Scammer contacts the Target to request the Verification Code as authentication before receiving the Prize, Bonanza or Giveaway. Unknowingly, the Target is providing the Scammer with the code to effect a number change.
d. The Scammer enters the code remotely and changes the Target’s phone number. Note that although individual contacts are not notified, only participants in group chats will see that the number has been changed.
e. The Scammers then send Spam messages to the Target’s whatsapp contacts and groups inviting them to participate in bogus ponzi schemes or requesting for financial assistance, all in a bid to elicit money from unsuspecting contacts.
*3. Protect Yourself*
Please note that this Scam works even if your Whatsapp Number is verified. Two-Step Verification helps with recovery of the number after the Change. In order to protect yourself please note the following:
+ WhatsApp will never request you to provide a Code for a process you did not initiate. Ignore any request for a promo or verification code.
+ If you receive such a call, *Report the Number* to Whatsapp as Spam and save it on your phone as Spam. This will help other 3rd Party Providers flag the number and alert Potential Targets with TrueCaller or caller id.
+ Group members are notified immediately a number is changed. If possible, contact the person on the initial number to confirm the authenticity of the change.
+ Alert the group Admin to remove the Scammer.
+ If you receive an unsolicited request for money from a contact, please verify the identity of the contact before obliging.
+ Share this message on your groups and with your contacts- Knowledge is Power.

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