The Forward function is a help, but you should be aware of the tricks they use to deceive us.
Everything that is popular on the Net is also susceptible to piracy. This maxim is undoubtedly true, because hackers see in the most popular apps, programs and websites the best possible channel for transmitting viruses, online scams and malware content.
Especially at WhatsApp, which is used by more than a billion people a month. Why? Precisely because of the large number of users WhatsApp and others treasure, allowing a virus to spread easily and quickly.
The messaging app has been successful with recent features such as knowing when a received message has been forwarded from another chat, but ultimately you have to be careful to know how to distinguish false messages from real ones.
Distinguish a fake WhatsApp message from a real one
Have you ever received a message from someone who is not a contact of yours and is not an official WhatsApp informing you about an update or content? If we don’t have that person on the agenda, it’s possible we do.
But if reading it has jumped your intuition and the thought that something strange is going on with that message, then it is probably a false message.
Unwanted messages sent by unauthorized third parties can reach you in a variety of ways: spam, scams, or messages from impostors posing as members of the WhatsApp team.
All these messages try to deceive you and try to get you to do something that could endanger the security of your device and/or your data. And someone may be trying to trick you if you receive a message through WhatsApp or email that has one of these features:
– The sender says he represents WhatsApp.
– The message asks you to forward it.
– The message says that you can avoid a penalty, such as blocking your account, if you forward it.
– The message promises you a gift from WhatsApp or someone else.
Taking advantage of current events
One of the hallmarks of an attempted scam is to take advantage of something being announced, such as a new WhatsApp feature, update, or service.
For example, in November, just after the announcement of the official release of WhatsApp video calls, the app had a scam circulating among users, taking advantage of their desire to use the new feature.
In the form of a message we saw in our WhatsApp an announcement that video calls could already be activated, and underneath a banner for us to pick and click.
If we did, after a false assessment of our version of WhatsApp we were invited to visit a website to verify our identity where private data was requested and share the function with several of our contacts.
And that’s it, when we put them in, we were lost. We had another one right in the middle of Christmas, when social networks are used most, in the form of a scam that promised to surf the Internet for free without being connected to WiFi.
The message came with a link to a website to activate the service and share it with other contacts. Ring a bell? Exactly, same basic M.O.
What if we get stung and ripped off? Not only does the phishing attack succeed and hackers get our data fraudulently, but it can also install malware on our smartphone and harm all those to whom we have sent the message in order to get free Internet on the mobile without using Wi-Fi. Or even worse: a ransomware that kidnaps your mobile and forces you to pay to unlock it.
Block and Delete
As recommended by experts, it is best to be wary of all these promotions that involve sharing things with other users, as it is a clear invitation to continue spreading the scam. You also have to look at the texts, the possible emails.
And, above all, a lot of attention with the short links and without revealing directions to those who tell us to click, because sometimes it may not be necessary to open a link on the web to which we have been referred, but simply opening that web and we can be in danger.
And the same thing we have said for WhatsApp can be applied to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like, since all attempts at scamming and infections follow and should follow similar patterns.