Your BBB has learned of a new scam that is making the rounds. This scam claims that by clicking on a link in the message, you can use WhatsApp for free. Even if you don’t have 3G airtime or a Wi-Fi connection of your own, it claims to keep you connected.
The message looks like this (photo courtesy of Naked Security.com)
As you can see, the .ml at the end of the link stands for Mali. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s a scam, but the way the message is written sends some red flags with its inconsistent spelling of WhatsApp and the poor punctuation and spacing according to Naked Security.
If you click on the link, there are some actions you are directed to take before you can get to the promised free Internet. According to Naked Security, an award winning blog from Sophos.com, a computer security company, the scammers vary the content based on “where you are, what browser you are using, what time of day it is, what operating system or device you have, which ISP you’ve used to connect, and whether you’ve visited before, and much more.”
However, instead of downloading malware, the scammers use you to spread the scam by telling you to send the message to eight to fifteen other WhatsApp users. Once you spin the “lucky wheel,” and share the message with others, the final step is to click on three different buttons (1) to take a survey, (2) to download and install App2, and (3) to download and install App3. The buttons just redirect you to various marketing services, and the scammers get paid for how many clicks they get from unsuspecting victims.
The bottom line is Avoid Tricks, Don’t Click!
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