The WhatsApp Gold message is back again, promising to give hidden premium features to the one who downloads it. Except, it’s obviously a hoax, and downloads malware onto your phone. The hoax, which went viral in 2016, is doing the rounds again.
The fake app which millions of users downloaded last year is back again. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging applications in the world and while there are over a billion users who have installed the Facebook-owned app on their devices, its popularity has its own share of drawbacks. The biggest disadvantage is the fact that there are a huge number of fake updates and duplicate apps out there.
What does the hoax do?
The scam encourages users to click on a dangerous link via the app to “update” your (original) Whatsapp to the alleged premium service, which is the WhatsApp Gold. This so-called update of WhatsApp to WhatsApp Gold comes with premium features such as forwarding 100 pictures at a time, claims that you can delete your sent messages at any point of time etc. Once they have clicked the link, they are then taken to a website riddled with malware, which can break into your phone, and steal your messages and other private data.
Word of advice
It’s important to stay savvy when receiving messages from unknown contacts in Whatsapp. The same awareness of phishing emails must be applied to everything you receive on the web. Any updates to WhatsApp will usually occur automatically, or through your device’s app store. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is and you should never open links from an unidentified source. If you have encountered the message, the best course of action is to ignore it and delete it promptly.