Latest Scam: Free Internet
WhatsApp Messenger is a great instant messaging app for smartphones that can be used to send texts, images, video, and audio media messages. Recently, it has reached 2 billion users, but you probably knew that already. However, criminals came up with more ways than you know to trick the app’s users – from promising 1000 Gb of Internet for free to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis to upgrades to a non-existent Whatsapp Gold version. Don’t be one of the victims. Let’s take a look.
There are five types of Whatsapp scams that are very common these days. Let’s take a look:
1. Whatsapp Fake Admin
First, if you have WhatsApp installed on your mobile, you might receive an email or a text message claiming to be sent by the WhatsApp admin. They are inviting you to add on services or subscribe for updates, without you knowing that clicking on the link provided will give the scammers approval to list you on a premium phone line. That means you’ll be charged hundreds of dollars, regardless of where you live.
Watch the video below to see exactly how the text message variation scam works and what the message says:
2. Whatsapp New Feature Upgrade
This second variation of the scam is the newest one. As you probably know, WhatsApp has a feature that lets you make voice calls. This seems to be the most awaited Whatsapp feature, and scammers are cashing in on the massive usage.
As you need to have the latest version of the messenger installed on your phone to update the feature, crooks nowadays spread a phishing message along the lines: “Please click here to update the voice calling feature on Whatsapp” while a compromised link is provided, leading you to download unwanted software.
3. Download Whatsapp Gold Version
WhatsApp users are reporting receiving a message encouraging them to switch to a premium version of the app named WhatsApp Gold. “Hey, finally secret WhatsApp Gold version has been leaked. This version is used only by big celebrities. Now we can use it too. Click here for the Whatsapp Gold download option”, says the message.
However, the bogus WhatsApp Gold contains malicious software that tracks users and steals their data. The message introducing you to this version invites you to access questionable websites such as goldenversion.com.
4. Whatsapp Missed Voicemail Message
In this fourth variation of the Whatsapp scam, via e-mail, crooks inform you that someone left a voicemail for you. As a courtesy of their services, the email provides you a button called ‘Play’, where you can listen to your message.
Thinking that this might be a new feature that WhatsApp developed, chances are you might want to click on the ‘Play’ button. What will happen is you will be taken to a malicious website that will download and install a file called “Browser 6.5” on your Android phone. If users then click the “Agree” button in the “browser”, text messages will be sent to premium rate phone numbers. The scammers will also try to convince users to download another malicious app.
This scam does not work on Macs, as “Browser 6.5 is not compatible with your computer”. However, if you are using a jailbroken iPhone, you will also download the malicious file, as jailbroken phones cannot be protected.
5. 1000 Gb of Internet For the COVID-19 Crisis
The latest Whatsapp scam promises the users 1000 Gb of Internet for free to encourage them to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis (see below). If you click the link, you will be taken through a series of questions, as a survey on COVID. After answering, you are required to” invite 20 friends to stay at home, in order to get the same ‘deal’. Ignore!
BONUS: Investing In Whatsapp Stocks
Let’s say you may be interested in buying stocks online, stock trader opportunities, dividend stocks, or simply looking to find the best way to buy penny stocks. One day, you may be receiving a text message along these lines:
“Hi, it’s Ed at Goldman Sachs [insert any name, for both person and well-known investment banking firm]. I hope the family’s good. Listen, my guy sent me a message saying AVRN is going to a dollar so if you want to make a move and buy it you should do I now. Text me later, let me know how it goes.”
This message comes to you from a person that you don’t know, but he makes it look like he sent it to the wrong person by mistake. This way, you would be let into a big secret and given a rare chance to get involved in the penny stock trading.
The AVRN (digital currency company) message above made its rounds recently being sent to thousands of people at once, raising AVRN’s shares to a high number, only to crash later on.
It is what is known as a ‘Pump and Dump’ scheme, where someone promotes a stock they hold, driving up the price based on artificial interest, and then sells before everyone realizes the interest was just manufactured.
In this case, the message was sent on social media platforms and apps such as Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook, and so on. You may be receiving a similar message featuring a different publicly-traded company that you might want to invest in (via the ‘Pump and dump’ scheme).
Watch the video below to see these 5 WhatsApp scams in video format, too:
WhatsApp Scams: How To Avoid
WhatsApp does not have a voicemail email notification. Do not click ‘Play’ or “Listen”. Period. On the other hand, do not download or upgrade anything that comes from external links until the Whatsapp app sends you the official message for upgrading via iTunes or GooglePlay.
Last but not least, when it comes to putting money on Whatsapp stocks, unsolicited investment advice should never be followed.
WhatsApp Scams: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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15 thoughts on “5 Scary WhatsApp Scams You Need To Avoid”
I met a lady last night on another social media site. We chatted a while and she seemed nice enough, but she suddenly wanted me to download this app and chat with her there. As I’m older I asked around some younger people at work what the deal was with it and one said it wasn’t affiliated with other social media sites(even though I believe I read that Facebook owned it?). Should I be worried?
I received a WhatsApp message from this number +27 73 242 4425 saying that I was chosen as one of the lucky winners and I’ve won R45000.00. I should consult my agent for payment. My so called agent is Mrs Elizabeth Hens, imagine I’ve send out my bank account details and so on, can you please help me stop this thing ASAP.
Thank you for your informative newsletter which I have posted on Facebook.
Here is what email i got today, with the subject "Your attention is needed". Beware everyone, is a scam:
Your email has won $1 million United States Dollar ($1,000,000) in the 2020 WhatsApp lottery and you are expected to claim it as quickly as possible or your lottery will be transferred to the second runner up.
Its a way to appreciate your commitment to WhatsApp and the impression you have given other people about WhatsApp.
For Security reasons your winning number is (WHTZPPX9) please keep this information very confidential to avoid being hunted by hoodlum when you finally claim your winning.
To get assistance and claim your winning, you are advised to contact us through our email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for more information on how to claim it
Copy of your passport/driving licenses / ID Number
Your winning number
Your Telephone numbers
Watch out for this scam. Here as follow:
"Remgro Company Yearly Promotion! Congratulates you! Your WhatsApp number has been selected among the 15 lucky winners in our whatsApp random ballot held in Sedgefield South Africa . You have won R450.000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Rand) Reference : GML/81ML. To claim contact your claiming agent with the following details:
Names: Mrs. Elizabeth Hens
Email : email@example.com
Tel: +27 84 371 6717
Kindly provide the following details.
Physical Address :
Private/alternative number :
Country of origin :
Whatapp has scammers on there claiming to be in the military. One is claiming to be in Japan and is on a classified mission so they can’t make calls they can only use text. Please remember that this is a hoax. they will then ask you to send money to their family member in another country as their accounts are frozen because they are deployed. This has happened to me and I would hate to see anyone else fall for this. Also ask to buy then a card so they can add data to the phone so they can keep talking to you. the number for this scam is 442-282-7119
Nigeria celebrities scam
Beware of a new Whatsapp scam going around today claiming to be from Ryanair. They offer two tickets.
It claims the offer is running “only today” and gives a countdown to the number of free tickets allegedly left up for grabs.
The message says: “Congratulations! You have qualified to obtain 2 Free Ryanair Tickets!”.
The scammers then asks victims to share the hoax message with 15 of their friends or groups to spread the fake offer further. WhatsApp users are then asked to click a “claim tickets” button and enter their details.
I just want to report that phone number + 44 7700 053327 and + 228 92927053 is used by a professional romance scammer who is cheating women for money. I have been a victim, so I just want to report it. I have also reported tothe police in both UK and Denamrk. (where I am living)
I got a message from general
message states you are added
phone number is +79672973006
953174705 whats up. It’s eddy from merrillynch you told me to give you a call time I got a hot stock. Well its here.. AVRn is going to a buck next week good time to a buck next week good time to buy would be right now if you want 116016649
I have never contacted this person. I can not find this person in my contact list on my phone. I can’t even delete it it out. Don’t fall for this scam!!!
scammer sending mass messages via whatsapp +1 430 562 4190 / +14305624190
I had the whatsapp scam from firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a scammer using this with the email address: email@example.com
hi everyone there is a scammer on whatsapp listed under this numbers do not reply to this person in any way if you have install norton download to your mobile phone device asap the phone numbers are from ghana scam country phone numbers are 233231668212 / 233268321987/ 233205548466 ATT: THESES PHONE NUMBERS ARE STILL CURRENTLY BEEING USED ON WHATSAPP RITE NOW USERS NAME DORCAS FROM ACCRA GHANA USER IS THROUGH GHANA AIRTIME PHONE COMPANY AND IS ASKING FOR MONEY RITE NOW
theres no use reporting it to ghana police because they dont care as i have done this a number of times if you have had big serious issues i highly recommend that you contact your countrys fedral police asap who will help you as they have with me
I just got infected by by this Whatsapp scam. How do I get rid of it? Thanks for your help in advance.