All WhatsApp users in the UK have been warned a new scam could see criminals take control of their accounts.

Scammers will pose as family and friends to request a security code, which they can use to steal access to your WhatsApp account.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for cybercrime and fraud, has received more than 60 reports related to the new scam.

Criminals gain access to an account that lists you as a contact, before posing as that account and starting a seemingly normal conversation.

Bury Times:

The user will then receive a text message from WhatsApp with a six-digit code around the same time as the conversation begins.

The criminal has been trying to log in to WhatsApp using the user's mobile number to receive this code.

The criminal will ask you to share the code with them, claiming it was sent by mistake.

Once the criminal has the code, they can log in to your WhatsApp account and lock you out.

The criminal will then use the same tactic with your contacts to steal more accounts and perpetrate fraud.

Action Fraud recommends setting up two-step verification to give an extra layer of protection to their account.

To set up two-step verification, you should go into your app and tap Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.

Here are some top tips if you think you are being targeted by the scam:

  • Users should always call the person making an unusual request on WhatsApp to confirm their identity.
  • Users should never share their account's activation code.
  • Users can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp by pressing and holding on the message bubble, selecting 'Report,' and following the instructions.

WhatsApp has warned its users about this scam and has advised them to be wary of any unusual messages or requests made through the app.

Users should be cautious and ensure they follow the recommended steps to protect their account.