Heard Facebook-owned WhatsApp is launching a new version dubbed WhatsApp Gold? You got it wrong, it’s a scam. Here’s all you need to know about this latest ploy to fool WhatsApp users.
If you see an exclusive invitation to WhatsApp Gold, don’t be too keen to become one of the elite.
The upgrade, which the invitation says is used by celebrities, claims to offer new features such as the ability to have video chats, send 100 pictures at once and, tantalisingly, the ability to delete messages after you have sent them.
People have been sent a link offering to install a new version of the messaging app, but don’t be fooled.
The download actually leads to malware, which could infect your phone allowing hackers to spy on your details.
Users receive a message that says: ‘Hey Finally Secret Whatsapp golden version has been leaked, This version is used only by big celebrities. Now we can use it too’.
1 Termed ‘exclusive version’
The so-called WhatsApp Gold is being peddeled as an ‘exclusive version’ of the app. The message recieved by users claims that the ‘WhatsApp Gold’ is not available to all users and can be installed only via invitation.
2 Users are asked to click on a website
The message is linked to a website — http://www.goldenversion.com — that users are supposed to click on to download the Gold version of the app.
3 So-called ‘celebrity account’
The message claims that ‘WhatsApp Gold’ was till now used only by ‘big celebrities’. The extra features of the Gold version of the app include video calling, ability to send 100 images at once, free calling, ability to change WhatsApp themes and more.
4 Hackers’ delight
Still wondering the purpose of the message? It’s stealing your data and tracking your movements. Downloading the program from the website will infect your phone with malware, which will possibly allow hackers to steal your data/track your movements and activity.
5 Remember ‘WhatsApp Plus’?
Incidentally, this is not the first WhatsApp-related scam. There have been many before too, in different forms. ‘WhatsApp Plus’ is one of them. WhatsApp even has a warning about it on its FAQ section. “WhatsApp Plus is an application that was not developed by WhatsApp, nor is it authorized by WhatsApp.
The developers of WhatsApp Plus have no relationship to WhatsApp, and we do not support WhatsApp Plus. Please be aware that WhatsApp Plus contains source code which WhatsApp cannot guarantee as safe and that your private information is potentially being passed to 3rd parties without your knowledge or authorization,” reads the caveat.
It further suggests users to “uninstall your application and install an authorized version of WhatsApp from our website or Google Play. After the 24 hour count down ends you will be able to use WhatsApp.”
6 WhatsApp policy on text message-based upgrades
In fact, WhatsApp advises its users that it will never send them a text message asking them to upgrade or download another app. The company reportedly says that it would reach its users over official points of contact like email.