WhatsApp's Top 7 Scams and How to Avoid Them
Considering that WhatsApp is one of the most widely used chat apps in the world, it is to be expected that there are people trying to take advantage of this to fool others. In fact, it is extremely common to come across several WhatsApp scams and chances are you have already received one at some point.
Unfortunately, not all are so obvious to users and you need to be careful and careful not to fall into these pitfalls. To help you out, we've prepared a detailed list of WhatsApp's top scams and ways to recognize and avoid them. Check it out below!
1. New message in mailbox
With the recent call feature made on WhatsApp, a new scam has been dealt to users' email. In this case, you receive an email saying that there is a new message in your mailbox from a missed call in the app. Usually, these messages go straight to the spam box and already look pretty suspicious in themselves, but can still end up fooling a lot of people.
If you open this email and click to hear such a message, a very powerful virus will download and lock your computer until you pay a ransom amount to get it back to normal. If you do this on your smartphone, various malware will be downloaded and installed automatically as well. To avoid the scam, keep in mind the basics: There is no voicemail feature in WhatsApp and the company never sends emails to anyone.
2. App will no longer be free
This is one of the most classic scams and it existed even when the app was not as popular as it currently is. Unfortunately, it is still very active and one of the most likely to mislead people, especially if they are not so knowledgeable about the way WhatsApp works.
There are many different versions of this scam, but the premise is always the same: Some of your contacts will send you a message saying that the app will stop paying soon and that you can pay or take steps to prevent it from happening by clicking. a certain link. Such a link will take you to a website to steal your payment information or install malware and viruses on your smartphone.
To avoid the scam, ignore any message talking about it. WhatsApp announced in 2016 that it would use the information gathered with the app to improve the types of ads that appear on Facebook. This has already ensured that the app will never have to charge for your services and will be free for as long as it exists. Other than that, even if the app decided to start charging, there would be an official announcement and you would not be notified by a random message from one of your contacts.
3. WhatsApp Gold
Another among the best known WhatsApp scams is that of WhatsApp Gold, which would be a secret and super exclusive version of the application. In this case, you get a message from one of your contacts saying that you have been invited to download the new app and that it has several functions that are not present in the regular version.
In the message there is also a link where you can download such, but it does not lead either to the Play Store or to the App Store. Instead, you will be redirected to a very suspicious website where various malware will be downloaded and installed on your smartphone.
Fortunately, this scam hasn't spread so much lately, but simply avoid clicking on links that promise any improvement in the app as it doesn't exist.
4. Discount Coupon
This is one of WhatsApp's most popular scams and still happens frequently among Brazilian users. Your premise is simple: You get a message from your friends saying that a specific large store or supermarket chain is offering special discounts to WhatsApp users.
Usually, the message asks you to click on a link to get the discount coupon and to share the message with a number of people on WhatsApp to validate the process. The link will simply take you to a page where malware will be downloaded to your smartphone or to a fake search that will try to get personal information from you.
Keep in mind that companies don't offer discount coupons this way (no matter how much) and would never ask you to download anything just for that. If the offer sounds real enough, do a quick search on the internet, as the fact would obviously be well reported and publicized if it were true.
5. Old WhatsApp Scams - Audio Calls
This is an older scam and it no longer works as well as it once did. Just before the audio call feature was released to everyone, you might get a message saying that you were chosen to receive the update that added this unreleased feature in the app.
This led you to click on a link and download malware on your smartphone. Fortunately, with the availability of links to everyone, the scam is no longer shared. Still, avoid any messages that promise new features in WhatsApp.
This is no longer a problem now as the app supports audio calls.
6. WhatsApp Scams - Video Calls
Of course, when rumors began about possible video calls on WhatsApp, scammers simply altered the scheme mentioned above to mislead even more people.
The scam worked the same way, only with the promise of an invitation to update video calls this time. Fortunately, the resource has now been officially released to everyone and the scheme is no longer shared.
7. New Emojis
Finally, we have one of the most efficient and active scams of the moment on WhatsApp. With it, you get a message promising a new emoji package for the app, which leads you to a link that asks you to download a file and share the message with 10 people or 3 different groups.
In addition to spreading the scam to a lot of people, you'll be downloading malware that fills your browser with pop-ups saying your browser is slow and you need to download another app to fix it. The damage is not as great as that of other scams, but it is extremely annoying and can be tricky to remove the virus.
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