Be careful! WhatsApp 1000GB free data on messaging app’s 10th birthday is a scam

If you have received a WhatsApp message offering 1000 GB free internet data then you must be careful! The WhatsApp message is a scam that has gone viral. The expose was carried out by cybersecurity firm ESET that received a message on WhatsApp which said that the app was giving away 1000 GB of internet data to celebrate the messaging platform’s 10th anniversary this year.

The campaign is apparently hosted by a domain that routinely spreads such offers pretending to be from well-known brands. The researchers said in a blog on Monday evening: What strikes us right off the bat here is that the URL that comes with the message is not an official WhatsApp domain.

Businesses running promotions through third parties is not unheard of. However, if you ever come across such a promotion, then you must check the company’s website to make sure the promotions are real and valid.

In this case, if you were to click the link then you would be redirected to a page that asks you to answer a series of questions in the form of a survey. Questions on how you found the app are part of this survey. “While you would be responding to the questionnaire, the site would invite you to pass along the offer to at least 30 more people in order to qualify for the big reward. Needless to say, this is merely a way to boost the campaign’s reach,” said the researchers.

What will the scammers gain if you click on the fraudulent message?

If you are wondering what the scammers are going to gain from this then here’s what: Their goal is click fraud. It is a widely followed monetisation scheme that relies on ad clicks for revenue generation, as mentioned by ESET. The same domain running the scam is also home to many other offers including from companies such as Adidas, Rolex and Nestle.

In 2017, a similar WhatsApp scam promised to unlock free internet access. What it ended up doing is singing up clickers for premium and costly SMS services or installed third-party apps on their phones. “In 2018, perhaps the same fraudsters used ‘free Adidas shoes’ as the bait. Regardless of the tune, the end goal was invariably the same — give the scammers an easy way to line their pockets,” said the ESET researchers.

 

 

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