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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Is WhatsApp going to start charging in 2017? Hoax dupes users into believing they will have to pay for messages

WhatsApp users are being targeted by a hoax message that claims inactivity will lead to charges.
The message tells users of the instant messaging service that WhatsApp will "become chargeable" from Saturday morning, citing an unknown "paper".
It goes on to offer the solution of forwarding the message to 10 contacts in order to avoid the charge of "0.01ps per message".
The hoax targets inactive users and claims that when users have forwarded the message on to 10 people their WhatsApp icon, that is usually green, will turn blue.
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc
This hoax appeared in 2012 when the same message was sent to users in the hope of gaining traction. It has since had more than one resurgence.
WhatsApp's response to such scams is clear, advising users on how to take action: "We always advise you to block the sender, disregard the message and delete it."
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc
For future reference, WhatsApp says to look out for these points when you suspect a hoax:
  • The sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp.
  • The message content includes instructions to forward the message.
  • The message claims you can avoid punishment, like account suspension, if you forward the message.
  • The message content includes a reward or gift from WhatsApp or another person.

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