Hoaxes and scams are nothing new. This is especially true in the virtual world, where some people make a living out of exploiting someone’s vulnerability or the flaws in their computer and network system. WhatsApp isn’t safe from being exploited either, what with scams delivered through the app, or with a promise of rewards in one form or another.
One of the most popular was WhatsApp Gold, which is supposed to be a premium version that is used by celebrities and famous personalities. Anyone who wants to be part of the “it” crowd would be conned into downloading and installing it.
The result isn’t going to be as bad as having malware installed in your computer or mobile device, but it can mess up with your app and could be grounds for WhatsApp developers to ban you. WhatsApp Gold is in great (or bad) company with WhatsApp Plus, WhatsApp Star and WhatsApp Pro.
What makes these modded apps, as they’re called, attractive is the features that they offer, some of which are not present in the official messaging app. Consider yourself lucky if you took the time to research and not fall for the hoax. But it would still come out beneficial if you did. This is because scams prompt WhatsApp to be more vigilant, and to develop better features that users are looking for in the default app.
WhatsApp video call scam
The latest scam today is the WhatsApp video call that many receive via email. When a recipient clicks on the notification or link, it opens to a website that has nothing to do whatsoever with WhatsApp. This should tell you right away that the email notification is not an official WhatsApp message.
But, considering that the message is a video call, the first thing that could come to your mind is that you may have missed a call from any one of your contacts, or that it could be important enough for anyone to leave a video call.
But what really happens is that the link opens to a website where you’re tricked into sending the same message to people in your contact list and then giving out your personal information. In some cases, you will get the worst reward ever – malware disguised as phone apps you can download for free.
The reason such scams succeed is that they roll out the hoax about the same time that WhatsApp introduce something big. The video call scam came out after the video calling feature for the messaging app was rolled out, which led some people to think the link would redirect them to get the new feature.
Some people, however, are not that vigilant about checking email recipients or reading online news and updates. Would you click a link from a bogus email address? Probably not. But your curiosity is likely to lure you into reading the email and opening the link.
One good way to protect yourself is to be aware of WhatsApp scams and hoaxes that are circulating on the web and on mobile. Knowledge is power, after all.
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