According to The Independent, the links appear to come from a friend but leads users to a discount page which then asks for personal details. Unsuspecting users are then led to a fake website which infects the phone with malware, allowing the scammer to obtain sensitive information. “The message convinces the user to forward the message to 10 contacts, so he/she can receive a certain promotion (such as £5 discount at Starbucks, Zara etc).”
David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab said in the report, “We have noted that this WhatsApp scam has been actively circling for some time. It ‘speaks’ several languages so the attacks can be customised for each market.”
With more than a billion users and more than 42 billion messages exchanged around the world daily, WhatsApp is a green pasture for scammers and has been hit my many such security lapses. Last year, when WhatsApp was testing the calling feature and it wasn’t rolled out officially, there were fake messages circulating , inviting users to try the new feature and that ended up filling the phone with dangerous malware.
Just last month, security experts warned there was a scam posing as a WhatsApp update which had the capacity to access and retrieve banking apps on your mobile phone.