WhatsApp has hit the headlines again and this time, for all the bad reasons. The entity called ‘Pink WhatsApp’ is making the rounds now.
While the Millennials and Gen Z may think that ‘Pink WhatsApp’ is the new feature launched by the popular messaging service, the reality is that the ‘feature’ we are talking about is a fraudulent one, created with the aim of conning its users.
Once installed, this application will gain access to the smartphone’s data, apart from getting hold of the device owner’s confidential data like bank details, photographs and passwords.
Countries have now warned smartphone users to guard themselves against download links related to the ‘Pink WhatsApp’, apart from making the incidents of people getting duped by the fraudulent app public.
The police of Mumbai, the financial capital of the world’s fifth largest economy, have already issued a ‘Red Alert’ against the counterfeit app, while asking people not to respond to the messages that promise a ‘WhatsApp Pink’ update.
Explaining the whole thing, Mumbai Police stated that the scammers first send a fake link disguised as an official update to the WhatsApp user. Once the user clicks on this link, the move leads to the installation of malicious software on the user’s smartphone, following which the infected phone will be exploited to infect other phones belonging to the user’s contacts through WhatsApp.
People have also been advised to download online apps only from authorized places such as the Google Play Store (for Android users). Since Apple phones do not allow third-party apps to be installed, iPhone users are safe as of now.
Also, avoid downloading APK files sent by someone or from unknown websites, apart from ignoring links sent to you on WhatsApp, links which may lead you to an unknown website.
In case the Android user has downloaded the ‘Pink WhatsApp’, he/she can immediately back up the smartphone and factory reset it.
And yes, ‘WhatsApp Pink’ is not the only scam happening around the messaging app right now.
You have ‘Mom and Dad Impersonation Schemes’, where fraudsters are impersonating children and asking for money from unsuspecting parents, who are being deceived into transferring funds into the scammers’ bank accounts.
Then in another category, threat actors are posing as friends/loved ones of the potential victim, while claiming to be in need of immediate financial help. And they are even asking for the victims’ six-digit WhatsApp verification code, personal information, or money.
Let’s not forget about the ‘Verification Code Scams’ too, where the threat actors try to log into a victim’s WhatsApp account from their mobile device, followed by tricking the person into sending a verification code that will give these criminals access to the potential victim’s WhatsApp.