A WhatsApp scam is going viral all around the world where users could be tricked into paying a fake subscription fee. WhatsApp users are being targeted by a fake message which falsely claims their current ‘subscription’ has expired. It encourages the users to tap on a weird link. While WhatsApp is a hugely popular messaging app with more than a billion global users, it also is a prime target for malware and scammers. The new malicious link has been telling WhatsApp users that their ‘subscription has expired’. This message is being circulated all around WhatsApp. Additionally, the message asks its users for a verification of their accounts. It also asks the users to buy a lifetime subscription for 0.99 British pounds.
It should be noted that WhatsApp is a free messaging service, and it does not charge its users at all. There was a time, long back, when it used to charge a small annual amount from its users, but now it does not. The link which is going viral is essentially a scam and you should refrain from clicking on it. If you click on the malicious link, it might give access of your personal data including your bank details to hackers. The fake WhatsApp message reads as: “Your subscription has expired. To verify your account and purchase a lifetime subscription for just 0.99 GBP simply tap on this link.”
— Align (@alignitadvisor) May 31, 2017
Meanwhile, several users have taken to Twitter where they are warning others about the new scam. You have been advised to delete the message immediately, if you get it, and also block the sender. In order to block a contact which is not saved to your device, open the WhatsApp conversation and click on ‘Block’. Users may also report the user under ‘Spam’ category. In case you received the fake message from one of your contacts, you can block them too, by clicking on the menu button present on the WhatsApp home screen. Just select Settings, Go to Account, Go to Privacy, Select ‘Blocked contacts’. Then add that contact to your Blocked list.
Users who have already clicked on the link can safeguard themselves by running an antivirus software on their smartphones to make sure they are not infected with malware.
There have been many such instances where hackers have made use of WhatsApp to circulate dangerous links. Earlier, a spam message was circulated on the messaging app, where it invited users to a WhatsApp Gold version, an invite-only club with special features where they could be able to meet movie stars. There have been cases where links were circulated inviting users to download video-calling. These messages also claimed that PM Narendra Modi wanted to give everyone in India, ‘Rs 500 balance’ free for their mobile phones.