The popularity of the cross-platform mobile messaging app WhatsApp Messenger has made cybercrook leverage its name in their malicious campaigns. Several alleged WhatsApp Facebook apps are making the rounds, trying to trick users into visiting various websites.
First and foremost, WhatsApp doesn’t have a Facebook app. Yes, that’s right. They have a Facebook page
, but no app. This means that you can’t get this wrong because all the so-called WhatsApp Facebook applications are fakes.
They all attempt to gain access to your friends’ contact information and send invites to the bogus program to all of them. Once this is complete, the victims are taken to all sorts of shady websites that urge them to install toolbars and other potentially malicious software.
In the process, the user is also asked to press on a number of Like
buttons, probably associated with other scammy Facebook pages.
As Robin Wauters of TheNextWeb highlights
, some of these applications are fairly well designed and even more experienced users could fall for the traps they set.
Worryingly, some internuts are already reporting that they've unwittingly sent out invites to their friends before noticing that the program is not legitimate. Judging by the numbers displayed when installing them, thousands of users have already taken the bait and allowed these pieces of software to interact with their accounts.
If you’ve already fallen for this scam, go to your account settings, click on the Apps
link on the left side of the screen, hit the Edit
button next to the fake WhatsApp app and remove it from the list.
Currently, some of the many bogus apps are unavailable, which may mean that Facebook is working on removing them. In the meantime, we advise all users to be on the lookout for such applications.