The latest scam post that circulates on social networking websites claims that WhatsApp Messenger’s providers are planning to set a fee for using their app, urging readers to send messages to friends in order to become a so-called “frequent user.”
“Hallo everybody. WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with.
“To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user,” reads the hoax provided by Hoax Slayer.
A number of versions are hitting social media sites, all of them falsely reporting that the cross-platform mobile messaging app will no longer be free of charge.
These types of hoax messages aren’t doing anyone any good and users can be certain that they’re not helping if they spam their friends.
WhatsApp’s developers learned of the scam and issued an official warning on the company’s blog to make sure their customers don’t fall for the spammy campaign.
“Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it,” reads the official statement.
Even more, they came across another phony notification that reports WhatsApp is shutting down on the January 28 because of an “over usage of user names.”
This variant is very similar to the old Yahoo scam in which the company’s president is urging recipients to forward a message to show that they’re active on Yahoo Messenger and avoid account removal.
“Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill,” reads this variant, allegedly coming from Jim Balsamic, WhatsApp CEO.
Jim Balsamic has been named CEO of RIM in a similar scam that’s been targeting BlackBerry Messenger customers.