How to avoid WhatsApp scam

whatsapp scamIt seems that recently WhatsApp users have been affected by scams more than usual. Many users are in fact reporting that they are receiving a message that invite them to switch to WhatsApp Gold (the famous premium version of the instant messaging app). This version of WhatsApp was so far available only to celebrities, but the spammer has contacted WhatsApp users encouraging them to change version of the app, and promising that using WhatsApp Gold would allow them to make video calls, delete messages after they’ve sent them and send 100 pictures at once.

And that’s just the last one of several other malicious softwares circulating on the web. For the moment it is unknown how many users were affected by the scam, and it’s not even sure if it’s real. The Telegraph did a test and was not able to find WhatsApp Gold in the Android or iOS app stores, and discovered also that the website address in the message reports a 404 error page. In the meantime, another scam is still affecting users. We are talking about WhatsApp Plus. This scam attracts users claiming that it will allow to send pictures, videos and music files of an unlimited size. But obviously WhatsApp Plus has nothing to do with WhatsApp, and users who have already downloaded this fake app will have another unpleasant surprise.

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That’s what the company said: “WhatsApp Plus is an application that was not developed by WhatsApp, nor is it authorised by WhatsApp. WhatsApp Plus contains source code which WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe and that your private information is potentially being passed to 3rd parties without your knowledge or authorisation.”  As a result, the Facebook-owned service has decided to block users who have downloaded WhatsApp Plus. What if you are one of them? To be able to use again WhatsApp you have to delete the fake app, and then, after 24 hours, WhatsApp will enable you again to use the official app.

To avoid these kind of problems there are some tips that you can follow. The main suggestion comes from WhatsApp itself. In fact the instant messaging service has alerted its users that WhatsApp will never send a message asking users to upgrade their device or to download another app. Suspicious messages are also those in which the sender says to be associated with WhatsApp, or when somebody offers you a reward, or when you are asked to forward the message.

WhatsApp clearly recommends users to report these kind of messages to the company and to “block the sender, disregard the message and delete it“. So be careful and always think twice before opening messages or before downloading third party apps.

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