Saturday 1 October 2016

WhatsApp Gold: Scammers trick mobile users into downloading malware

Doug Bolton

Published 24/05/2016 | 15:17

Incredulous WhatsApp users are being tricked into downloading 'WhatsApp Gold', an apparently 'exclusive' version of the app which actually infects mobiles with malware.

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A number of the app's users have reported receiving messages urging them to sign up for the service via the WhatsApp Gold website, which is linked in the message.

Read more: Hidden Whatsapp features that everyone should know about

The app's extra features (which the scammers claim have only previously been available to top celebrities) include the ability to send hundreds of pictures at once, new emojis, video calling, enhanced security features and more customisation options.

Read more: Revealed: How you can now Whatsapp without your phone to hand

Naturally, the whole thing is nonsense. Downloading the program from the website will simply infect your phone with malware, possibly allowing cybercriminals to steal your data or track your movements and activity.

There's been a spate of WhatsApp Gold messages recently, but the scam has existed in different forms for a while, sometimes under the name 'WhatsApp Plus'.

WhatsApp will actually ban users if it detects this unauthorised software on their phones, and says in the FAQ section of its website: "WhatsApp Plus is an application that was not developed by WhatsApp, nor is it authorised by WhatsApp."

"The developers of WhatsApp Plus have no relationship to WhatsApp, and we do not support WhatsApp Plus."

The company warns users that the scam software can pass private information "to third parties without your knowledge or authorisation."

Independent News Service

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