WhatsApp asks its users not to use the new “I love WhatsApp new colors” feature: it is a dangerous scam

WA I love new colors scamOnce again WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, has been the target of scammers, who try to take advantage from the popularity of the app. During the last few days a new malicious software called “I love WhatsApp new colors” has once again endangered the safety of millions of WhatsApp users.

How does it work? A fake message tells users that they can easily change the look of the app by adding a variety of colours. The message says “I love WhatsApp new colors” adding a link that the user is invited to click on to get the update. At this point the poor WhatsApp user is asked to share the message with up to 12 friends, in order to make this “new feature” work on their app.

And now comes the tricky part, because it is now that the scam really begins. After the users have been verified to start using this new option of the app, they are told that this new feature will only work on a desktop and that, in order to make it work, they have to download and install BlackWhats (an extension available via the Chrome Web Store). Needless to say, this is not a new WhatsApp update, but a well organized attempt to infect at least 12 people at the same time.

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WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app in the world, and has currently over 1 billion active users all over the world. So it’s easy to imagine how many people could fall for this scam. Obviously WhatsApp urges its users not to forward any message, adding that users have the ability to block malicious messages from their contacts. WhatsApp, on its official FAQ page, gives also some useful suggestions to its users. That’s what the app recommends:

Unwanted messages from unauthorized third parties come in many forms, such as spam, hoax and phishing messages. All these types of messages are broadly defined as unsolicited messages from unauthorized third parties that try to deceive you and prompt you to act in a certain way.  You may be the target of a deceptive scheme if any of the following describes a message you receive, via WhatsApp or email: 

  • The sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp.
  • The message content includes instructions to forward the message.
  • The message claims you can avoid punishment, like account suspension, if you forward the message.
  • The message content includes a reward or gift from WhatsApp or another person.

What to do if I receive these messages? We always advise you to block the sender, disregard the message and delete it. To learn more about blocking, read this FAQ article. To avoid exposing your contacts to potential harm, please never forward these messages to them.”

In the meantime Google has already removed the BlackWhat extension from the official Chrome Store, and this is good news, because it means that the scam cannot work anymore. So, always keep in mind that WhatsApp releases new features only via software updates, and you will be notified through the Google Play Store when a new version of the app is available for download.

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