WhatsApp bans over 74 lakh Indian accounts in August, here is how you can spot and report online scams


New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 3, 2023 09:13 IST

WhatsApp in its crackdown on reported accounts, banned over 74 lakh Indian users from the platform. In its latest monthly report according to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the platform reveals the actions taken by WhatsApp in response to grievances from Indian users, account violations within India, and orders from the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC), encompassing user complaints, law violations, and regulatory compliance.

According to the report, WhatsApp banned 7,420,748 Indian accounts between August 1 and 31. Of these, the Meta owned platform proactively banned 3,506,905 Indian accounts without waiting for reports from users. WhatsApp took this preemptive action to enforce its platform rules and policies by identifying accounts that potentially violated these rules. This ensured the safety and integrity of the platform without relying solely on user-reported violations.

Further, the platform also received 14,767 grievances reports, from which it took actions against 17 accounts.

WhatsApp also details how it deals with abuse and spam, noting that it considers user complaints and takes proactive measures to prevent harmful behavior on the platform. To detect harmful or abusive accounts, WhatsApp operates at three key stages in an account’s life cycle: registration, messaging, and response to negative feedback, which it receives in the form of user reports and blocks. WhatsApp’s team and automated systems track and evaluate complex or unusual cases, helping the platform counter abusive behavior.

“We are an industry leader among end-to-end encrypted messaging services in preventing and combating abuse. In addition to our safety features and controls, we employ a team of engineers, data scientists, analysts, researchers, and experts in law enforcement, online safety, and technology developments to oversee these efforts.We enable users to block contacts and to report problematic content and contacts to us from inside the app. We pay close attention to user feedback and engage with specialists in stemming misinformation, promoting cybersecurity, and preserving election integrity,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

While the platform continues to block and take action against harmful accounts, it also urges users to be more vigilant and active in spotting spam reports or any suspicious users. To deal with scams here are some tips to note and report scams.

How to spot scam accounts on WhatsApp

1. Fake Job Offers: Scammers offer attractive job opportunities and money upfront to gain victims’ trust. Once victims invest, the scammers vanish with their money or sensitive data. Be cautious of such too-good-to-be-true offers.

2. Suspicious Giveaways: Be wary of WhatsApp forwards promising rewards like an iPhone 15 in exchange for sharing the message and email IDs. These links are often used to steal personal data; don’t trust them.

3. Suspicious Apps: Scammers modify bank app files with malicious code and ask victims to install them for support, tricking them into sharing sensitive banking information. Never install apps from unverified sources.

4. Overseas Calls: Ignore and block calls from unknown overseas numbers. WhatsApp has measures to tackle these calls, but if you receive one, don’t respond.

5. Avoid Clicking Random Links: Hackers send infected links to users, leading to phishing websites or malware. Be cautious when a stranger sends you links or urges you to act urgently. Enable two-factor authentication and avoid sharing personal info with strangers to stay safe from scams on WhatsApp.

How to report account on WhatsApp

To report a WhatsApp user:

  • Open the chat with the account you want to report.
  • Tap the person’s name at the top of the chat.
  • Tap “Report.”
  • Select the reason why you are reporting the account.
  • Tap “Send.”

Published On:

Oct 3, 2023

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