WhatsApp’s massive 1.2 billion plus monthly active users makes it a prime choice for scammers and cyber criminals as a hub for touting scam, ransomware and other malicious software.
The Facebook’s app has become a household name nowadays hence a rich field for scam peddlers to hunt down victims without a miss.The acclaimed chat client has all sorts of users from tech nerds, who can distinctly differentiate genuine contents from cheats, to the uninformed folks who easily get swindled with slight tricks.
That said, there is a new scam being shared on the platform alongside other social media networks. And so, you are advised to keep all yours eyes out or else you might install malware into your phone or PC without your consent. A Reddit user,u/yuexist, has reported a suspicious link making rounds all over mainstream social media platforms persuading users to download a fake WhatsApp app.
As reportedby the user, the content says that WhatsApp is now available in multiple colors and that you will be able to install it once you click ona phony URL embedded in the message. The link leads to a masquerading whatsApp.com with a message asking you to share the site with friends as part of verification. On sending the site, your friends get a message “I love the new colors for WhatsApp” accompanied by the maskedURL to the site.With the alleged verification done, instead of now downloading the app, you are made to install an adware which now tells you that the multiple-color WhatsApp is only accessible on desktop (WhatsApp Web)and only through a Google Chrome Extension that you are supposed to install as well.
That plunges you into another scam altogether,the link directs you to install an extension by the name BlackWhats from the official Chrome Web Store; which by itself is another alleged adware. Google has since removed the extension from the store, thanks to the report by the pioneer user.
These people are both smart and schematic, they know how dear people hold colors and are therefore exploiting this deficiency.However, whether you are a tech geek or not, you can recognize a scam right from the first glance by looking at the font style used. Most sham URLs, just like this one going round now, tend to use letters from Cyrillic alphabet. So, when you see a suspicious link with these letters, however appealing it might be, fall for it at your own risk.
Lack of proper content-screening strategy to blame
With no proper content-screening strategy, WhatsApp has become core platform for sharing misleading content and deceiving links. Though the app’s developers have introduced some of the best security and privacy controls measures, matters to do with following URLs and installing harmful software solely remains a personal affair. Remember that WhatsApp is protected by end-to-end data encryption, by default, and there is also Two-step Verification feature. The former is meant to protect your messages and calls from third parties while the latter prevents other persons from signing up into your WhatsApp account on other devices.
All the same, WhatsApp is one the safest instant messaging clients out there, all you need is a little keenness when dealing with forwards, otherwise you are safe.And incase you have not updated your app recently, then you better do so ASAP.The latest update to the leading mobile messaging platform features ability to pin up to three chats. The pinned chats will remain at the top of chat list regardless of messages from other conversations coming in. Lastly, apart from Status feature that attracted mixed views, WhatsApp remains simple, free and efficient. Grab your app from your respective app stores and join the largest chatting community.