The clever WhatsApp trick to block out scam or nuisance callers
‘Hello, I’m calling from your bank. We’ve had an alert of fraudulent activity on your account. What is your online pin?’
It was an unknown number, but you gave in and answered.
For some, these calls are little more than an occasional frustration, soon forgotten. But for thousands across the world, these often convincing callers can be the first step in a sophisticated con to part you with your hard-earned cash.
Sneak peek: Leaked screenshot shows WhatsApp is working on a tool to allow users to silence unknown callers
WhatsApp has been working on a number of new features, including a way of editing messages after you have sent them
A staggering 45million adults were targated by scammers over a three-month period in October 2021, Ofcom revealed at the time.
The watchdog’s research also discovered that of the eight in 10 adults targeted last summer, fewer than two in ten actually reported them to the relevant authorities.
But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Leaked screenshots suggest that Meta-owned WhatsApp is close to finding a way to prevent these people reaching you via its app.
WhatsApp users have always been able to block or report unwanted callers once they make contact with you. However, there could soon be a way to prevent them reaching you in the first place.
The screenshots show that WhatsApp is exploring ways to add a new tool to ‘silence unknown callers’.
Unfortunately, the callers will still appear in your call lists and notifications, but they will not be permitted to actually ring through to you.
‘This feature has several advantages, such as reducing interruptions and potentially avoiding spam calls,’ WABetaInfo – who uncovered the screenshots – said.
It’s not yet clear when the new tool will be operational.
WhatsApp has been linked with a number of scams through texting too – notably the ‘Hi Mum’ and ‘Hi Dad’ scam. The texter attempts to convince the user that they are their own son or daughter, and then ask for money.
The tech sleuths at WABetaInfo have uncovered several new tools that the social media giants are looking at through WhatsApp Beta – which allows you to try the latest features first.
A new WhatsApp mode that allows you to edit your messages – after you’ve sent them – is also in the works.