WhatsApp fraudsters have expanded their scam campaigns by defrauding job hunters that aspire to be employed in the UK. The threat actors spoof an agent from the UK government that offers free visas and other work benefits to people willing to fly to the country for work.
These fraudsters use the WhatsApp social messaging app to send a blast of messages to their victims. The message includes an alleged job opportunity in the UK needing hundreds of thousands of workers for this year. To make the offer sound more interesting, the operators offer benefits for those who apply, such as free travel expenses, visas, housing, accommodation, and health checkups.
A malicious link would be sent to an interested applicant, wherein they would be redirected to a fake UK immigration website to apply for a visa for the UK job offer. On the site, the victim would be asked about their details, such as their names, home addresses, contact details, email addresses, employment status, and marital status.
As tested by researchers, it seemed that any input entered on the form would be automatically approved by the fraudulent domain since its operators aim to collect the details of the victims. Alongside the approval is the promise to be given a free visa, work permit, travel tickets, and all-around free accommodation in the UK.
The WhatsApp scam does not end at this stage, as its operators would then direct the victims to more steps to complete the job offer benefits.
To gather more sensitive information from the victims, they will be given further steps they must take to obtain the promised job offer in the UK. This step would require the victim to invite more people to join the fake job recruitment program.
Aside from the fact that this step would mean spreading the campaign more toward potential victims, several other fraudulent websites would also be shown to the first victim, such as quiz websites, aiming to harvest more personal data that could be used for further malicious attacks.
This WhatsApp scam is only one of the many common visa-themed phishing campaigns in the social messaging platform, aiming to steal data from people to be used for malicious activities. Cybersecurity experts have always reminded people to be more cautious online, as many bad actors are spread to victimise too trusting individuals.