To understand: having WhatsApp cloned means that a fraudster accessed your account on another device. This is so they can access your contact list and ask friends and family for money on your behalf.
If your WhatsApp has been cloned, see what to do below.
1. Let your friends and family know
The first step if you had WhatsApp cloned is to communicate with your friends and family. Scammers can impersonate you to ask your contacts for money – and end up making other victims.
A good way to do this and reach more people in less time is to communicate a friend and family member who are in multiple groups with people you know. So they can spread the message in these channels and more of your contacts will be informed.
You can also post on social media notifying you that your account has been stolen, if you feel comfortable doing so. That way, even those who don’t have much contact with you also find out.
That is to say, WhatsApp conversations are protected with end-to-end encryption and stored on your device. This means that, even if the scammer accesses his account on another device, he will not be able to read the messages exchanged before the app is cloned.
2. Contact your bank if you use the WhatsApp payment service
If you use the payment service on WhatsApp and had your account stolen, rest assured: the registered card is protected by your Facebook Pay PIN. That is, the fraudster does not have access to your card information.
In any case, it is important to notify the card issuer registered in the app so that they know what happened and guide you on what to do.
If you have registered a virtual card, for example, the ideal is to delete it and create a new one as a precaution.
3. Recover your WhatsApp account
To recover your WhatsApp account, follow the step by step below:
- Using your mobile device, enter WhatsApp with your phone number;
- Confirm the number with the six-digit code you will receive by SMS. If your device is an iPhone, iCloud keys are activated and you have confirmed this number before, the confirmation can happen automatically, without sending a new code by SMS;
- As soon as you enter the six-digit code, your account will be automatically disconnected from other devices.
What if the SMS code didn’t arrive?
In this case, the automated WhatsApp system can call your number to enter the code. Wait ten minutes and don’t change your mobile number. After the ten minutes, click on “Call me”.
What if you need to enter a two-step confirmation code?
This step will be necessary to recover your account if you have activated 2-step confirmation in WhatsApp. But in case you don’t remember doing this, the scammer may have activated this feature to make it harder to recover the account.
If this is the case, you will have to wait seven days before you can access your account without the two-step confirmation code. In the meantime, contact the card issuer to block transactions.
After seven days, the fraudster will be automatically disconnected when you retrieve your account and enter the six-digit code received by SMS.
If you continue with normal access to WhatsApp from your cell phone and suspect that someone is using your WhatsApp Web account, use the app itself to disconnect from all devices.
- Open WhatsApp on your mobile;
- For Android, click on “More Options” (the three-dot symbol in the upper right corner of the app) and then on “WhatsApp Web”; for iPhone, click “Settings” and then “WhatsApp Web/Computer”;
- Select the connected device;
- Click “Disconnect.”
4. Enable more layers of security
With your WhatsApp account recovered, the next step is to enable more layers of security in the app to make life harder for scammers.