Friend or foe: three examples of fraud on WhatsApp

Friend or foe: three examples of fraud on WhatsApp

February 17, 2021

Case 1: the family affair

You are contacted by someone that claims to be your son or daughter, or a very close relative that you care about. This relative is in desperate need of money to pay some bills, or is lost at a train station and cannot get home without your ‘financial support’. You want to help, and you send two-factor bank codes to your relative, not knowing this person is a fraud. The risk to lose a substantial amount of money? High.

Case 2: the friendly voice

Jimber specializes in crypto development, among others. A company we work with was deceived to send Bitcoin tokens to a fraudulent address using deep learning. This technology provides the possibility to send voice messages using the voice of another person. The bitcoins were lost forever...

Case 3: the fake bank transfer

A colleague was about to sell a laptop and was contacted by a buyer via WhatsApp. The buyer wanted to pick up the laptop the same day, and sent a screenshot of the payment to our colleague, the vendor. It appeared that the screenshot was fake: the money was never transferred. Luckily we noticed the fraud in time and contacted the police. Unfortunately, they could not do anything, since the laptop was still in our possession and we did not lose any money.


First. Don’t trust anyone when it comes to remote money or crypto transactions. The friendly message that appears to come from a beloved relative could easily come from a crook that is trying to steal your money. Always make sure that you get confirmation through another channel (call their mobile number, fixed line or contact them via another app), and ask questions that you know only the real person can answer. Second. Be very careful when selling and buying things online. Try to get identity confirmation and do not hand over any goods without actually seeing the money in your own bank account, checked with your own device.

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