Since WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform and messages news on this network travel faster than email, it’s not surprising that this platform is prone to scams, hoax and fake messages. We woke up yesterday to another such hoax message which was in circulation around a year ago. The new message being circulated is a so-called email from a so-called ‘director of WhatsApp’, stating that WhatsApp has been sold to Mukesh Ambani from Reliance, India for $19 billion. While the message did bring a broad smile to our faces and we had a good laugh around it, we also did think that the ‘hoax’ message was easy to find out, it could definitely cause harm to the ignorant. The message carries with it a link and once you click on it, the scamster makes money, and the recipient could be attacked by a malware.
The message reads that some dude by the name of ‘Varun Pulyani’ who claims to be the ‘director of WhatsApp’ has sold the messaging platform to ‘Mukesh Ambani, Reliance’ for $19 billion and that ‘WhatsApp is now controlled by Mukesh Ambani.’ It further reads that one has to forward the message to at least 10 friends or groups within 24 hours and then your WhatsApp will be activated for new services with Facebook and the WhatsApp logo will turn blue. The message scares the person by saying that if he does not forward it ahead, his account with WhatsApp will be permanently deleted. Read the entire message below:
For those who have not heard of this, please do not panic. This is a hoax message and a scam. If you have received this message from a friend, please do not click on the link inside the message and please do not forward this message ahead. Please also educate your friend who has sent it to you and explain that he is helping spread a rumour and could end up infecting his and his contact’s phones with malware.
The above hoax message is not new. The message was circulated around in 2014-2015 with the name of the ‘director of WhatsApp’ changed according to the country it is circulated within. Internationally, the ‘director of WhatsApp’ in the hoax message featured as ‘Sam’, ‘Jim Balsamic’ and many such names, which helps it look genuine. With the rise of Reliance Jio in India, it’s no surprise that people could still fall for these hoaxes, scam messages.
Please do not click on any links within such suspicious messages and do not forward them ahead. If you find such messages coming from your friends, whom you would trust, make sure you do a little research online before you click on any links within. The links could be harmful and infect your smartphone with malware. Your private data could be at risk.