Telegram, the free cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging app, has been gaining a lot of users recently because of how secure it is. Events like the 2021 Facebook outage, which also shut down the vastly popular WhatsApp instant messaging service, have pushed users towards Telegram in search of a more stable, secure messaging platform.
However, as with all online platforms, it’s possible to fall victim to a scam via Telegram. In this article, we’ll tell you what to look out for and how to avoid Telegram app scams.
The Telegram app is not a scam service in any way. In fact, it is widely regarded as the most secure third-party messaging app on the market right now.
Wherever there are large user bases, there are going to be scammers. Fraudsters are always looking for new platforms that allow them to target their unsuspecting victims. So, naturally, Telegram has attracted their attention recently.
SMSRanger is a bot used by both seasoned hackers and novice cybercriminals to target unsuspecting Telegram users.
In this scam, one of the most common Telegram scams out there, the scammers program the bot to send out automated messages that appear to be from a bank or another financial institution, like PayPal.
If you engage with the bot, the script leads you to believe that you need to give it your password or other account information for some reason. Of course, the scammers just use this information to steal from you.
SMS Buster is a similar bot to the SMSRanger bot, but it’s script is able to collect even more sensitive information, such as credit card CVV codes and credit card numbers.
Another of the most prevalent Telegram messenger scams is known as a Telegram job scam, a Telegram employment scam, or a Telegram interview scam.
In this type of scam, the fraudsters target people looking for work with fake job advertisements, typically posted on LinkedIn or other job sites. The scammers know that people looking for employment are often desperate, and thus can make easy targets.
Once you apply for one of these fake jobs, the scammers conduct fake interviews via Telegram. They do this because they cannot be traced through the app.
Telegram interview scams can work in different ways, but the scammers always string you along to make it seem like a real job application process.
Finally, they offer you a job and, if you accept, they go on to ask you for sensitive personal data, such as your Social Security number or bank account details. They then disappear and use this data to steal from you or commit identity theft.
Crypto scammers often leverage Telegram to run “pump and dump” scams. This means they gather a group of eager, usually new/naive investors, in a Telegram group under the pretense of offering investment advice.
Then, the scammers buy up large amounts of certain cryptocurrencies before giving “advice” to everyone in the group to go buy the same ones. Once they do so, the price goes up, and the scammers sell off all the cryptocurrencies for a profit, leaving group members in the dust.
Another kind of telegram scam to watch out for is the fake Telegram giveaway scam. In this scam, scammers (or scam bots) reach out to users and pretend to be offering a giveaway from some well-known company, especially cash transfer apps and crypto wallets.
Of course, to receive your “giveaway” reward, you have to give the scammers money or sensitive information first. Then, they disappear and your prize never materializes.
If there was a “staying safe online 101” course, this would be the first lesson. No matter what, never give anyone your passwords, security codes, login information, or any other sensitive data over Telegram.
To make your Telegram account even more secure, turn on 2-factor authentication in the settings menu. This makes it very hard for anyone to hack your account.
It may be tempting to use your birthday or your pet’s name as a Telegram password, but it’s not a good idea. Hackers can easily look on social media to find this info and guess your password.
Instead, choose a random combination of letters or words, and include numbers, special symbols, and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters. The more complex your password is, the less likely it is that anyone can get into your account.
If you’re looking for work, be very cautious about the interview process to avoid Telegram job scams.
If someone ever requests to interview you via Telegram, push back and ask them to interview you via a video call on Zoom, or request an in-person interview if the company claims to be local. That way, you can see who you’re talking to and avoid getting scammed on Telegram.
The reality is nobody you don’t know should ever be reaching out to you on Telegram. So, if an unknown individual starts messaging you, even if they seem to be legit, chances are it’s a scammer or a scam bot.
Whenever you have even a sneaky suspicion that someone is not who they say they are on Telegram, just block them. You have nothing to lose by playing it safe on Telegram. Should you find yourself victim of an Telegram app Scam, contact PayBack the moneyback experts, to get a free consultation and retrieve what’s rightfully yours.
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