The link to download WhatsApp Gold is malware that installs data mining software on your computer or smartphone.
WhatsApp is arguably one of the most popular workload streamlining and communication apps, with more than one billion registered users worldwide. And the news earlier this month that WhatsApp was rolling out a desktop version for PC and Mac only made the already great messaging and collaboration app even more useful.
So why wouldn’t users want to upgrade to WhatsApp Gold? After all, the premium version claims to offer video calling, the ability to send as many as 100 images at the same time, and more. What’s not to love?
Perhaps the fact that it’s a scam, for starters. Spammers are flooding email and messaging inboxes with phishing attempts, hoping that they land on a WhatsApp user who can be enticed into taking advantage of the new features, some of which (like the video calling) have actually been announced as being in the works. The link to download WhatsApp Gold, however, is malware that installs data mining software on your computer or smartphone. Sadly, the message offering users the bogus upgrade is so cheesy that there’s no way it would have been given the green flag by any company’s PR department, yet as studies of phishing attempts have shown, gullible people do fall for them.
This isn’t the first time scammers have tried to use WhatsApp to spread malicious software. According to MobileChoiceUK, an attempt earlier this year came in the form of phony emails that claimed there was an audio or video message waiting for the recipient, prompting them to click the link to play their message.
So far, the Android OS has been the hardest hit with this wave of fake upgrade emails, but that doesn’t mean iOS users are in the clear. If you receive an email, text message, or social media message with the option to upgrade to Gold, delete it immediately.