A WhatsApp scam is doing the rounds in Hertfordshire – sparking a police warning.

Herts Police said there has been a spike in frauds linked to a verification con on the platform – which sees criminals posing as members of groups users are in.

The force said: “They write persuasive messages designed to lure you into disclosing your verification code.

“Once the criminal has this code, they can login to your WhatsApp account and lock you out.

“They will then use the same tactic with your WhatsApp contacts to steal more accounts and use them to commit fraud.”

Methods criminals use include:

  • Claiming that the code was sent to you in error and asking you to help them by sending it to them.
  • Notifying you through messaging about an ongoing upgrade on the WhatsApp group and requesting that you share the code you've received
  • Calling you to inform that a verification code has been sent to prevent your account from being hacked and to request the code is shared with them
  • Sharing web addresses in WhatsApp groups and instructing or persuading group members to click on them to update their information by providing a code that is sent to them.
  • Instruct you or your group members that the code you have just received is needed to attend a meeting. This is a popular tactic with recruitment scams.

Residents have been advised to never share verification codes, never click links in unsolicited WhatsApp messages, and spread awareness among friends and family.