4 scams to watch out for in the Telegram app

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Telegram is known as one of the most private and secure free messaging apps. The company is so confident in its security that in 2014 it offered anyone who was successful a place in a contest to try to decrypt its secure messages for a $300,000 prize.

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There are currently over 700 million active users on Telegram every month, making it one of the most downloaded apps. Another feature that makes Telegram unique is its scalability – you can create groups for up to 200,000 people while maintaining secure communications.

Despite the platform’s efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment for its users, there are Telegram bot scam alerts that you should be aware of.

1. Fake telegram groups and channels

One of the biggest Telegram bot scam alerts to watch out for is fake accounts. They may look the same as the most popular channels, but they aren’t. Scammers take great measures to make the knockoff channel look like the real ones, with similar profile photos and even admins with the same names.

However, you will soon see posts about cryptocurrency and other schemes and even receive private messages from admins and other users promoting such schemes.

In many cases, you may be added to such a channel unknowingly.

How to protect yourself

To avoid the problem, you can change your settings to prevent strangers from adding you to groups and channels.

  1. Go to “Settings”.
  2. Select “Privacy and Security”.
  3. Select “Groups & Channels”.
  4. Change Everyone, who can add you to groups, to My Contacts.

Restricting who can add you to groups can reduce the chances of being contacted by a fake account. If you suspect you are dealing with a fake group or channel, you can report it by clicking the three dots in the corner and selecting “Report”.

2. Phishing

Telegram uses bots on the platform to serve as an assistant to a channel or group. The problem is that it’s hard to tell if the bot is legit. Scammers have been known to use a bot called SMSRanger, which poses as a bank or company representative, to phish private information. If a scammer is able to get your or a contact’s phone number, the bot may be able to convince a user to provide personal information, such as identification or financial information.

How to protect yourself

To avoid the scam, watch out for typical phishing behaviors such as urgent communication needs, spelling and grammatical errors, and requests to send sensitive information via SMS to verify your identity. Remember that companies do not send you important information via Telegram. If in doubt, contact the company directly on the publicly available telephone number.

3. Fake job offers

Don’t get overly excited about too good to be true job offers you receive through Telegram.

Many employment scammers use Telegram as part of their scam. If you find that an offer pays a disproportionately high wage or includes incredibly enticing benefits, be careful. They will often request that you conduct an interview via Telegram.

How to protect yourself

If the “hiring manager” asks for sensitive personal information during the Telegram interview or asks you to pay for items such as computer equipment or training, it is most likely a scam. Most reputable companies that offer great pay don’t conduct interviews through messaging apps — and they don’t expect you to pay to work for them.

4. Fake Classified Ads

In recent years, fake classifieds bots have scammed Telegram users out of $6.5 million. You may come across a classified ad for products like electronics that provide Telegram contact information to complete the sale. The problem is that a bot is responding to your interest in the item and trying to steal personal information from you, such as credit card information or your home address.

How to protect yourself

If the price of the item is too low or the seller won’t meet you in person and asks to speak on Telegram, proceed with caution. It is safest to personally inspect the item before handing over any money or giving any personal information.

Bring away

Regardless of how secure a platform is, scammers work hard to exploit its vulnerabilities. In the case of Telegram, someone or a Telegram bot is more likely to impersonate a reputable company or channel to gain access to your personal information.

Proceed with caution and use your common sense. Do not provide sensitive information such as your social security number, phone number, full name or address, otherwise you may become a victim of fraud.

FAQ

  • Can I be scammed via Telegram?
    • You can be scammed via Telegram in the form of fake or impersonating people, accounts, and bots. Be careful, especially when asked for sensitive financial or identification information.
  • Can someone hack me via Telegram?
    • Telegram is one of the safest messaging platforms. It is highly unlikely that your messages can be deciphered or intercepted. However, you should still avoid providing your sensitive information through Telegram as they might be fake bots or scammers asking for it.
  • Is Telegram’s voice bot real or fake?
    • There are real Telegram bots. However, anyone asking for sensitive information such as financial accounts and passwords, your home address, or identifying information should be treated as fake and avoided.

Editor’s note: This content is not provided by any of the organizations discussed in this article. Any opinion, analysis, review, rating, or recommendation expressed in this article is solely that of the author and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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