This isn’t the first time – nor will it be the last – that we’ve warned y’all about the many scams floating around on WhatsApp. They get recycled every now and then and usually use other people’s identities to try to get you to open unreliable sites or click on certain links that install malicious software or subscribe you to services you don’t want. The latest scams making the rounds involve a supposedly free year’s subscription to Netflix, a way to change the app’s colors, and a WhatsApp shutdown due to overloaded servers.
One free year of Netflix
One of the most widespread rumors flying in recent months is a fake promotion on Netflix offering a free year’s subscription by clicking a link. When you click, you’ll get a website that tries to pass as an official Netflix page, though the glaringly obvious truth is that it’s actually trying to get your phone number so it can fraudulently subscribe you to paid SMS services.
New colors for WhatsApp
Apps that purport to customize the look of WhatsApp have always been a magnet for less cautious users, stretching back to the days of WhatsApp Gold. In this case the scam involves a message suggesting the option to change the color of the interface, but when you tap the link it takes you to a page where you have to share the message with 10 other people or four groups. Besides spamming the people whose details you’ve shared, it also tries to get you to tap a confirmation popup that again is just a trick to subscribe you to premium SMS services that charge you without your consent. Incredible that we keep falling for these sorts of things.
The fake WhatsApp outage
A few days ago WhatsApp did actually suffer an outage, and the opportunists instantly swarmed to take advantage of the uncertainty it generated. These days a message has been going around that’s supposedly from the “Director of WhatsApp” explaining that to keep using the app for free you have to share the message with your contacts. In this case it’s simply a messaging chain, but it’s still surprising how gullible people can be with scams as hackneyed as this one.