- An ongoing fraudster on WhatsApp is trying to trick people who are excited to work in the UK.
- The fraud campaign operators are using the Metaowned instant messaging service to send SMS while impersonating the UK government.
- A “similar fraud made the rounds” a few months ago, according to the report, and it similarly tried to defraud users “who wished to work or study in the United Kingdom.”
In the world of cybercrime, visa application-related phishing schemes are fairly prevalent. An ongoing phishing effort on WhatsApp has recently targeted people who are eager to find employment in the UK. Malwarebytes has reportedly found a fraud in which the campaign organizers send texts on the Metaowned instant messaging service posing as the UK government and promising “a free visa and other perks to anyone ready to migrate to the nation,” according to a report by ZDNet.
The report also indicates that a few months ago, a “similar scam made the rounds” that also attempted to defraud people “who wished to work or study in the United Kingdom.” The research advises consumers to avoid and be alert to this new phishing attempt since it is one of those “too good to be true excursions.”
How does the scam operate?
According to the research, the fraud starts when messages are sent to certain numbers using the WhatsApp mobile messaging app. In these scam communications, users are informed that “the UK will require over 132,000 extra employees by 2022, and as a result, the government is conducting a recruiting drive, with over 186,000 open employment positions.” However, the phishing effort doesn’t stop there. The research further indicates that such “cold-call communications” about visas are “red flags in themselves.”
The scam message says: “TRAVEL EXPENSES WILL BE COVERED BY THE PROGRAM. They will allow a place to stay. There will be medical institutions. The applicant’s minimum age should be 16 years old. Able to speak simple English.
ADVANTAGE OF THE PROGRAM: an immediate work permit. aid with visa applications. Any nationality is eligible. Open to everyone who wants to work and study, including people. Apply here
When victims click on this message, a bogus website posing as “a UK Visas and Immigration website” is loaded. According to the article, users from other nations are also urged to “apply for thousands of jobs currently accessible in the United Kingdom.”
Malicious motives behind the scam
The investigation further states that the phoney website wants to gather visitors’ sensitive data, including “their names, contact information (phone, email, and other), marital status, and job status.
Additionally, the victim’s information is “automatically authorized” when they submit the free application form.
“A work permit, a visa, free airfare, and lodging in the UK.” It is stated in the report that none of the promises are fulfilled.
In addition to this, the phishing campaign’s operator seeks to collect even more data and attempts to make money from users, just like any other fraud. After inviting 15 friends or five WhatsApp groups to become “informed” of the scam, the visa applicants are promised that their next form would emerge. Finally, victims are sent to unidentified websites that sell drones or other quiz sites that request personal information, including contact information.