It’s hard to imagine a day without WhatsApp. The largest messaging app in the global arena, however, has reportedly become the target of a new scam, which traps users and misleads them into revealing confidential information that can be turned against them under unlikely circumstances.
The links to such fraudulent activities supposedly come from friends, and they lead the user to a page by alluring them with discounts and offers. The page asks them for their personal information, thereby trapping them in their nets. These false websites are also potent enough to infect the user’s phone with malware that can extract sensitive information from them.
David Emm, the principal security researcher of Kaspersky Lab principal said that the popularity of WhatsApp in India and Europe had caught the attention of miscreants. He also said that these scams, are being circulated in many languages so that they reach out to a more global audience. The messages that are sent to the user, “convince” him “to forward it to 10 contacts” in exchange of some kind of offer or discount or promotion, like a free recharge.
With WhatsApp’s popularity increasing day by day, these fraudsters can actually establish themselves globally. Currently, there are over a billion users in the world, with 65 million in India itself. With the company recently waiving off the 99 cents annual subscription charge, these numbers are expected to grow by leaps and bounds.
The message also convinces the users to forward them to ten other contacts, again in exchange for a promotion of some kind. Most of the ask users to reveal their personal details like emails, names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
The best way to protect oneself from these disturbances and nuisances is to ignore any such link that promises a promotion but in actuality infiltrates the system through a malware and tampers sensitive information. Or if users are really tempted to click on these links, then before doing so, they should verify it with the friend who forwarded it to them.
WhatsApp has, in the past, been a target of many such odd attacks that posed a threat by accessing and retrieving delicate information about users’ financial details from banking apps. So, in such times, where mischief lurks in the corner, the most befitting thing to do is to be aware and take necessary precautions.