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Gardaí warn people to very wary of unsolicited text messages or emails.
Gardaí warn people to very wary of unsolicited text messages or emails.

Locked out of account: Cork woman’s warning after WhatsApp hack

A NORTH Cork woman has spoken out about her WhatsApp account being hacked after she received a text message containing a code.

Mags O’Riordan from Mallow received the contact in recent weeks, shortly before receiving a text from a friend who told her the number had been sent to Mags’ phone in error.

The friend asked her to send the code to her, which she did. The WhatsApp accounts of both Mags and her friend were hacked.

The text message contains a number, and also invites the recipient to verify their phone number by following a link in the text message.

Ms O’Riordan said she only became aware that it was a scam when she contacted her friend later in the day.

However, she did not realise her WhatsApp account had been compromised until the following day, and she has been locked out of her account since then.

She said she had used WhatsApp for work, as well as for several group chats, before she was hacked. She took to the airwaves on Today FM’s Dermot and Dave Show yesterday to highlight the scam. Those behind the scam gain access to all content in the WhatsApp account of those scammed.

Gardaí warn people to very wary of unsolicited text messages or emails.

A spokesman said: “If you believe your account or your network has been hacked because you can’t get access or you have noticed unusual activity, you should report it to your local gardaí and keep a copy of the suspicious activity, including last login records, or a screenshot of the login page showing you were locked out. 

"You should also use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts, or use the backup email account to try and regain access to your account with the help of your service provider.”