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WhatsApp is NOT offering 1000GB free data, ignore fake message

A new message being circulated on WhatsApp that promises 1000GB of data to users as a part of the celebrations of its 10th year anniversary is a scam campaign, Forbes has warned in a report. The report quoted researchers from security firm ESET who are said to have received the fake message.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 1, 2019 3:38:42 pm
WhatsApp is not giving free data to its users, nor is it circulating any messages that say this.

A new message being circulated on WhatsApp that promises 1000GB of data to users as a part of the celebrations of its 10th year anniversary is a scam campaign, Forbes has warned in a report. The report quoted researchers from security firm ESET who are said to have received the fake message. The message reads, “WhatsApp Offers 1000GB Free Internet!” and also has a link, clicking on which asks users to complete a survey and share the promotional image with 30 people on WhatsApp to claim the free data.

Even though ESET researchers have found no evidence of the message containing malware or attempting to access personal information of users, this can be changed at any point by those behind the message. As of now, the link is aimed at getting ad click revenue for cyber criminals.

People who come across such a message are advised not to click on links. To reiterate, WhatsApp is not giving free data to its users, nor is it circulating any messages that say this. Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at cybersecurity firm McAfee, Gary Davis suggests avoid interacting with messages that look suspicious, rather go directly to a company’s website to check for any promotional offers they are running.

“If you receive a message in an unfamiliar language, one that contains typos, or one that makes claims that seem too good to be true, avoid clicking on any attached links,” Davis added.

Also read: You cannot find out if there’s a malicious app on your device, but here’s what you can do

As per a McAfee blog post, cybercriminals are using the scam message as a “ploy to carry out their malicious schemes”. It notes that the link does not use an official WhatsApp domain but this is not uncommon given businesses do use third-parties to run their promotions.

Read more: WhatsApp now notifies users if a message has been frequently forwarded

The scam, which appears to be focused on generating revenue through ad clicks as of now, could also turn into a phishing scam to lure people into revealing their personal information such as credit card numbers, password, etc. It points out that the domain used in the fake WhatsApp message also hosts fake promotional offers for well-known brands such as Adidas, Nestle, Rolex, and more.

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