Some WhatsApp users are reporting receiving messages that encourage them to switch to a premium version being referred to as WhatsApp Gold. This premium version comes with a convincing message that it lets users make video calls, delete messages after users send them, and the ability to send 100 pictures at once. To top it all, the message notes that this version has only been previously available to top celebrities. With this kind of message, it is very easy for people to upgrade though what they don’t know is that this version contains malicious software.
A picture circulating on Twitter showed that the spammer is contacting users through the official WhatsApp and advising them to upgrade to the Gold version. These fake third party app comes with malicious software that tracks users and steals their personals files and data.
Up to now it is not yet clear on how many people have affected by the scam or even if it is real. Aptgadget did not find WhatsApp Gold in Android or iOS app stores. Despite the little evidence that suggests on the rampant spread of WhatsApp Gold, the hoax is reminiscent of several other recent scams, including WhatsApp Plus app that is still affecting users.
WhatsApp Plus claims to allow users send videos, picture, and music files of unlimited size and enable them to use WhatsApp with more than one number. Facebook has clearly noted that the app is not associated with its WhatsApp and has resulted in banning users who have downloaded this fake app. After the fake app is deleted, users have to wait 24 hours before being reinstated the ability to use the official service
WhatsApp noted that WhatsApp Plus contain source code which they cannot guarantee as safe. This means that users’ private information and date is possibly being passed to 3rd parties without the knowledge of authorization.
To be safe from WhatsApp related frauds, you should know that the social media site will never send a message asking you to upgrade or download another app. The company has stressed on this, noting that it only messages users whenever they starts a conversation with official contact for instance email. WhatsApp also encourages its users that whenever they receive a suspicious message, they should block the sender, and delete the message.
Another way users can protect themselves is by avoiding downloading third party apps that have not been created by the official site including those that lets you spy on your friends.
Featured Image credit:independent