Data & Security

New SCAM Alert – How WhatsApp PDF Download Can Hack Your Mobile?

WhatsApp PDF download scam

While awareness has helped to protect many people from online scams, such cases continue to occur. One reason is that scamsters are also evolving and coming up with novel schemes to cheat people online. A recent example is WhatsApp PDF download scam, where it is possible that the user’s phone might be hacked. 

WhatsApp PDF download scam – How it works?

Sending emails and messages with potentially harmful file attachments is an old hacking technique. However, the approach is slightly different with the WhatsApp PDF download scam. Instead of sending the message from a random number, the scamster will use the name of a reputed brand. Even the contents of the message will seem completely harmless. 

The message will seem like a standard ‘Thank You’ note, something similar to what brands normally send to their customers. To pretend as more genuine, a purported invoice of the customer’s last purchase will be attached. Furthermore, the message will request the user to give a rating about the overall shopping experience with the brand. 

As most of us are curious, we may click on the attached invoice to see the contents. One may do this even when they may not have purchased anything from that particular brand. Some people may also assume that the message and the attached invoice was sent to them by mistake. This may prompt them to click on the attachment. 

Irrespective of the reason why a user may feel like clicking on the attachment, it has potential for device hacking. Whether you are using WhatsApp on your mobile, tablet or laptop/PC, clicking and downloading such attachments can be dangerous. Your device can be hacked and scammers can take full control of your private, confidential data. Your banking, digital wallets and retail apps may also get compromised. 

WhatsApp PDF download scam – How to keep your device safe?

Sending malware through an attachment is an old hacking technique. And the solution is also quite simple. You just need to avoid clicking on any attachment. Even if the message may seem genuine, do not click on any link or attachment coming from an unverified source. As scammers are continuously using new techniques to cheat people, you also need to share such cases with your family, friends and colleagues. With continuous awareness measures, cases of online scams and hacking can be minimized.

What to do if you have been cheated online?

In case you have been scammed online, you can file a complaint online. Many cities and states operate their respective cybercrime cells. You can also lodge a complaint at a local police station. As interstate gangs may be involved in online scams, you can also register your complaint on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. You can also call 1930 to report your case.

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By: Pankaj Bansal, Founder at

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