In the world of cyber crime, the hackers prey on peoples less knowledgeable about the world of technology. A new scam, which attempts to trick users into providing bank details to pay for a fake WhatsApp subscription, is doing just that — prey on naivety.
WhatsApp did charge a subscription fee of $0.99/£0.99 initially, but stopped the practice in January 2016. However, the hackers are taking advantage of a non-existent subscription service to dupe victims into handing over their banking information.
Emails pretending to be from ‘The WhatsApp Team’ claim that “your subscription will be ending soon” and to continue to use the service, you need to update your payment information. Once the customers fall for the fraud, they are taken to a page where they have to enter their phone number and details related to their debit or credit card.
The UK’s fraud and cybercrime centre Action Fraud and the City of London police have issued a warning about the fake subscription campaign. Users, who receive the emails, are urged not to click on any of the links, but to instead report it to the police.
The Action Fraud unit is providing support to users who have been tricked into providing the details. They are telling the victims to scan their devices with an anti-malware application to check if the device has a backdoor or a malicious code.
If the device is not scanned for the malicious code, then there is a probability that the malicious code, ‘if’ installed in the device via thr fake WhatsApp subscription link, might take control of the device and get into the users’ messages, images, videos, and access the phone’s camera and microphone.
However, the emails have a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, which make it quite obvious that it is a scam. Since the emails create a sense of urgency not allowing the user a chance to look at the grammar or get suspicious, unsuspecting users can still fall for the scam.