A message is making rounds on the internet that’s offering 1000 GB of mobile data. Don’t even click on the malicious message. It will seem as if the message is from the WhatsApp company itself, however, it is a dangerous scam.
Researcher at ESET – a renowned cybersecurity firm recently discovered a scam message that promises free internet. The scammy message tries to seem legit by showing WhatsApp in the link. However, it leads to a website that is home to a number of other scams as well.
“What strikes us right off the bat here is that the URL that comes with the message is not an official WhatsApp domain,” the researchers said in a blog post late Monday.
Clicking on the link leads to a form that states that the offer is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of WhatsApp. At least that much is true, in 2019, WhatsApp has turned 10 years old. However, the company is not so generous as to offer free mobile data.
“While you would be responding to the questionnaire, the site would invite you to pass along the offer to at least 30 more people in order to qualify for the big reward’. Needless to say, this is merely a way to boost the campaign’s reach,” said the researchers.
This is how they want the message to spread. Those caught up in the scam would be sharing this message and helping to spread it.
“Apparently their goal here is click fraud – a highly prevalent monetization scheme that relies on racking up bogus ad clicks that ultimately bring revenues for the operators of any given campaign,” warned ESET.
The more visitors they get onto their site, the better it is for them. They could be generating ad revenue through all these visitors. WhatsApp is highly efficient at spreading messages, however, it tends to get misused. This is just one example.
How to save yourself from scams like these
Scams rely on people’s emotions. The objective of scams like these is to get the user excited and as a result, get them to make a rash decision.
The best strategy is to calmly review the supposed offer. Question the offer, is it realistic? Is it authentic? To do this, go to the brand’s official website. Do they have an official announcement on their twitter page or on Facebook? If not, then it’s a scam.