Warning, WhatsApp scam! DO NOT pass on verification code!

If you receive a code for WhatsApp verification via SMS without being asked and are asked to enter it on a website - then do NOT do this! You should also not forward it to any contacts, whether known or unknown. Because currently fraudsters are trying to get hold of other user accounts in this way. Details on the procedure, further sources for comprehensive information on the topic and more can be found in this guide.

You receive a WhatsApp verification code via SMS without being asked and an (unknown) contact asks you for it? Then do NOT pass on the code and do not let your user account be stolen!

You receive a WhatsApp verification code via SMS without being asked and an (unknown) contact asks you for it? Then do NOT pass on the code and do not let your user account be stolen!

WhatsApp scam with account migration verification code

Like Mimikama, an association for the detection of fakes and false information, on its own website shows, fraudsters are currently trying to get hold of your WhatsApp accounts. The procedure can be outlined as follows:

  • An apparent verification code is received via SMS
  • An (unknown) WhatsApp contact now asks for this code
  • A link should be clicked in the SMS and / or message of the contact
  • The verification code should then be entered on the linked page
  • As a result, your WhatsApp account is transferred to the fraudulent smartphone

Here, the possibility is used to migrate the WhatsApp account to a new smartphone halfway automatically through verification. This is an advantage when you get a new cell phone and want to transfer the messenger, including user data and chats, to it. Unfortunately, this feature is used to the detriment of the fraud shown.

In the SMS it says: “Don't pass this code on”!

If you get a code from WhatsApp for porting the account, then, as shown in the source linked above, the note “Do not pass this code on” is in the corresponding SMS. You should stick to that too. Because even if a known contact (from family, friends or colleagues) asks for the verification code, it is possible that their account has already been hacked and you are communicating with the fraudsters. So first ask critically why you should send the number combination, and then do nothing of the kind. 

On the page linked above it also says to protect against the indicated mesh:

In order to protect yourself effectively against this and similar scams, you must never share such verification codes with other people. The same applies here as with SMS tans for your online banking: The codes are intended exclusively for you. If you are not sure whether a message really came from one of your contacts, you can, for example, call the person to inquire whether the message was sent on purpose.

More security: verification in two steps

For more security, WhatsApp offers the option of securing your account in two steps. In detail, this means that every time you try to connect a new phone number to the WhatsApp account, a six-digit PIN must be entered. In addition to the SMS code, there is also a security string. And if someone asks about that, then you know all the more that it is an attempt at fraud. Details on setting the two-step backup can be found in the WhatsApp FAQ.

Other useful links:

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