Watch out for the phishing attack that will allow scammers to take over your Telegram account!
Scam Alert : Watch Out For Telegram Phishing Attack!
Scammers are now targeting Telegram users with a phishing attack that is designed to trick them into giving up their accounts! The Telegram phishing attack works like this:
Step 1 : The scammer gains control of your friend’s Telegram account, and sends this message to you:
Dear Telegram users. The system detects that this account is abnormal and has potential security risks.
To ensure that you can log in to your account normally, you need to invite friends for auxiliary verification
The risk control account has not been verified. The system will cancel the account after 24 hours!
Personal Information Authentication：[link removed]
Step 2 : The scammer, masquerading as your friend, asks you to help him/her verify his/her Telegram account by clicking on the link.
There are security risks in my account, and I need friends to help me verify it. Please click on the official link to help me verify it and follow the prompts. thank you
Step 3 : If you click on the [removed] link to help your friend, you will be taken to a website that looks like an official Telegram website. DO NOT DO THIS.
Step 4 : You will be asked to log into your Telegram account on the fake website. DO NOT DO THIS.
Step 5 : The fake Telegram website will ask you to key in your Login code, or take and upload a screenshot of your Telegram. DO NOT DO THIS.
Step 6 : If you continue, the scammer will be able to take over your Telegram account, and use it to scam your friends by asking them for money, etc.
The scammer will also have access to your Telegram chats, and all associated media including photos and videos, which could potentially be leaked or used to extort you or other people.
Recommended : Beware Of Telegram Screenshot Hack + Scam!
How To Protect Against Telegram Phishing Attack
A phishing (pronounced as fishing) attack is a social engineering attack, that uses your trust for an institution (like a bank), authority (Telegram), or someone you know, to give up your login details.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself against any phishing attack on Telegram, or other platforms.
Verify Identity Before Trusting
Many people fall for phishing attacks because it is human nature to trust your friends and to help them. However, on instant messaging apps, you don’t actually know if it’s really your friend on the other end!
So if a friend messages you on Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to ask for help, ALWAYS verify their identity before proceeding.
If possible, call or message your friend on the phone, or via a different platform (use WhatsApp if the request came on Telegram, for example).
But if you are unable to call your friend, try asking the other person something that only your real friend would know:
- Do NOT ask questions like “Are you really Sarah??“
- Do NOT ask questions that can be answered by reading previous chat messages.
- Ask something that only you and your friend would know, like “Hey Sarah, what was that restaurant we went to last week?“
- Ask a fake question that your friend would readily know is not true, like “Hey Sarah, are you coming over tonight?“
If the other person cannot answer or gives you the wrong answer, he/she is not your friend, and that account has likely been taken over by a scammer.
Recommended : How To Block Facebook Ads + Pay Scammers!
Look At The Link
Whenever you see a link being shared, always check if it leads to a legitimate website, or attempts to masquerade as a real website, by substituting characters in the link.
This Telegram phishing attack, for example, uses a link to telegram.0rg.ee. The real Telegram domain name is telegram.org. This is called domain spoofing.
If you see an attempt to impersonate a legitimate website by using a similar-looking domain name, do NOT click on it.
Never Login Via A Link
It is common for people to share links on Telegram, and in Telegram groups. Heck, we share links to our article in the Tech ARP Telegram group!
Clicking on links in Telegram, WhatsApp, emails, etc. is not dangerous, because most lead to legitimate websites that do NOT require you to log in.
What is dangerous is logging into any website through a link. I cannot hammer this enough – NEVER LOG INTO ANY WEBSITE through a link!
Phishing attacks work by tricking you into going into a fake website that looks like the real website. But you still have to log into the fake website to give the scammers your login details.
If you click on a link, and you are asked to login – this is likely a phishing attack. But don’t worry – as long as you refuse to log into any website after clicking on a link, the phishing attack fails.
Turn On Two-Step Verification
All banking platforms, and many mobile apps now offer two-step verification to prevent scammers from taking over user accounts. However, this is often an optional feature that you must manually enable.
Telegram has a two-step verification feature, which prevents scammers and hackers from hijacking your account by requiring a secret password that only you will know.
Please follow our guide on how to turn on Two-Step Verification in Telegram.
Just make sure you do NOT give that password out to anyone, or key it into any website!
Warn Your Family + Friends!
It is important to publicise phishing attacks, whenever they happen. If people are alerted, they are less likely to fall for such attacks.
However, scammers and hackers can quickly change the way their phishing attack works, so it is important that people understand how phishing attacks work in general.
You can help prevent phishing attacks by sharing this articles, and other cybersecurity warnings, with your family and friends.
Please help us FIGHT SCAMMERS by sharing this cybersecurity article out, and please SUPPORT our work!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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