For those of you who are meeting people online, you might find that there are some people who prefer chatting on Google Hangouts or WhatsApp instead of the app you met them on. If you are chatting with someone right now who has done this, now is your time to block them because they are most likely a scammer. Many scammers lure victims onto WhatsApp and Google Hangouts for a variety of reasons, with the main one being they don’t want their account to be reported on the app you met them on. Therefore, they try to direct you away from the app you were chatting with them on. The real question is why do scammers use WhatsApp and Google Hangouts to message victims?
Why Do Scammers Use WhatsApp and Google Hangouts to Message Victims?
Scammers create fake profiles on social media networks and dating apps then message random people on these apps, claiming that they are the most beautiful person they have ever seen. The victims become flattered and want to continue talking to the scammer as they continue to message their victims cute phrases. The scammer then states that their app is lagging and they don’t like talking on the app they met their victim on. The scammer suggests they move to WhatsApp or Google Hangouts instead, and the victims comply not seeing what the big deal is. They think it’s because the scammer wants to keep them around long-term, however, this isn’t the case.
The reason why scammers do this is that they want to protect their scam account from being reported. They think that if they continue the conversation on a social media or dating app and their victims become suspicious, they can report their account to have it deleted after all the hard work the scammer put in creating the fake profile. However, if their WhatsApp or Google Hangouts accounts are deleted, then they can just create a new one easily using a picture, username, and new email.
They continue to talk to their victims on a daily basis and make them fall in love with the romance scammer. The victims start building trust in the romance scammer and feel like they could do no wrong. That’s when the romance scammer starts creating emergency excuses as to why they need money. The victims believe in these excuses and start sending money to their romance scammer, thinking that they are helping them. However, the scammer is actually lying to drain these victims’ bank accounts.
Other Types of Google Hangouts and WhatsApp Scams to Be Aware Of
Job Interview Scams
A so-called work-from-home company tells you that they would like to interview you about the position you applied for. They tell you to go onto Google Hangouts or WhatsApp for the interview, so you do so thinking they are going to video chat with you. Instead, they instant message you about the position making you wonder why they couldn’t do it over a phone or video call like most places do.
After the interview, they tell you that you got the job and give you a little over $1,000 to get the supplies you need. They mail you a check within a week or two and tell you to get a computer, desk, chair, office supplies, and other stuff from certain websites that are usually fake. The check is also fake, meaning you gave all the money back to the scammer for supplies you aren’t giving and now you’re responsible for paying the bank back for the fraudulent funds.
A girl entices you on a dating app and tells you to chat with them on Google Hangouts or WhatsApp, usually because they want to prevent their dating site account from getting blocked. They then ask you to send them naughty pictures in exchange for theirs. Once you send over your personal pictures, the scammer can do one of two things. The first thing they can do is download malware on your device based on a link you clicked and ask for money to take the malware off.
They can also take your inappropriate pictures and save them on their device. They then tell you that they will send your pictures to all your loved ones if you don’t give them money to stop. You cave and give them money so they don’t send it to anyone, and they still continue to bug you for more money.
You receive a message from a stranger on a social media platform claiming that they have a money-making opportunity for you. They state that if you want to learn more, you need to download Google Hangouts or WhatsApp to continue the conversation.
You download one of these apps since you are curious about the opportunity they are trying to offer you. They convince you to try this investment opportunity with little risk guaranteeing that you will make this money back. However, once you send the money over they block you from one of the messaging apps and the social media platform they contacted you on.
How to Avoid Google Hangouts and WhatsApp Scams
- If someone tells you to go on either WhatsApp or Google Hangouts to continue the conversation for any reason, don’t do it. This is a tactic that scammers use all the time to prevent their fake profiles from being blocked.
- Don’t send the scammer your personal or financial information for any reason.
- Don’t receive money from a scammer and agree to turn it into Bitcoin or gift cards. This is a form of money laundering and is illegal to do this.
- Don’t send scammers gift cards, Bitcoin, wire transfers, or any other forms of payment.
- Video chat with someone or meet them in person before getting into a serious relationship with them to verify their identity.
- Don’t click on any links sent from someone you met online on any of these platforms.
- Report any scam you’ve been a part of to the FTC for further assistance.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you’ve been wondering why do scammers use WhatsApp and Google Hangouts.