WhatsApp 1000GB scam: Don’t fall for this dubious message claiming to offer free mobile data

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New Delhi | Updated: August 1, 2019 11:51:12 AM

The fraud campaign is hosted by a domain, which is home to a yet another spurious offers pretending to be from prominent brands.

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WhatsApp 1000GB Data: Ever received a message offering 1000GB free Internet data on WhatsApp? Tread carefully, as it has emerged that it is a scam which is spreading its web very fast. Researchers working at the Cybersecurity firm, ESET, received a text on WhatsApp saying that the Facebook-owned platform was giving away 1000 GB internet data to mark its 10th anniversary in 2019.

The fraud campaign is hosted by a domain, which is home to a yet another spurious offers pretending to be from prominent brands. Moreover, the URL which comes along with the message is not an official domain of WhatsApp, the researchers from ESET stated in a blog post on Monday.

While it is a common practice that businesses run promotions through third parties, it is important to keep in mind that one should verify the same with the company’s website to ensure if the said promotion is valid and genuine.

The researchers have said that if one clicks on the link then the user is directed to a page which invites them to answer a few questions in a survey of sorts. These questions range from seemingly authentic questions asking where the user found the offer or the opinion of the user on the app. As the user gets busy with the questions, they are then asked to forward the offer to 30 or so people to get the big reward.

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“Needless to say, this is merely a way to boost the campaign’s reach,” the researchers said. However, the main question is what the scammers are hoping to gain by fraud campaign. ESET warned that the campaign is just a prevalent monetisation plan in order to get fake ad clicks which finally get revenues for the operators of any such campaign.

Reports say that the domain which hosts this WhatsApp scam also has many such offers, each of them pretending to be from a well-known company, for example, Rolex, Nestle and Adidas, among others.

It may be recalled that in the year 2017, a similar WhatsApp scam was reported to have been going around which also promised to award free Internet access. However, users who fell in the scam ended up signing up for premium and costly SMS services unknowingly or had installed third-party apps on their phones.

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