WhatsApp, Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards' Friends Against Scams are working together to launch STOP. THINK. CALL., a new campaign to help educate people on how to protect themselves and their WhatsApp account from message-based scams.

What should people do?

Stop, Think, and Call before you respond to a suspicious or unusual message.

  • STOP: Take Five before you respond. Make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is switched on to protect your account; that you're happy with your privacy settings, and your six-digit pin is secure.
  • THINK: Does this request make sense? Are they asking you to share a PIN code which has been sent to you? Are they asking for money? Remember that scammers prey on people’s kindness, trust and willingness to help. Taking over your account could enable them to deceive others on your contact list.
  • CALL: Verify that it really is your friend or family member by calling them directly, or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you’re 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust, should you consider it.
Why is it important that more of us can spot scam messages?

According to new research from WhatsApp*, almost three fifths of Brits (59%) say they have received - or know someone who has - a message-based scam in the last year, most notably via SMS text message (46%) and WhatsApp (13%). This type of scam unfortunately appears to be increasingly common.

Whilst 17% chose to ignore the message, 4% replied to the message via the same messaging service, 3% called them for clarification and 2% made the payment.

Fortunately, it’s easy to protect your account on WhatsApp. To avoid being scammed, you should remember to Stop. Think. Call. - ensuring you do everything you can to keep yourself, and your contacts safe.

* WhatsApp / Opinium Research on 2,000 UK adults, October 2021

Take a stand against scams! Learn how to protect yourself and loved ones from scams by watching the Friends Against Scams training video below. The video covers different types of scams, how to spot them and how to support someone that has been a victim of a scam.