‘WhatsApp Gold’ promises extra features, but delivers viruses

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With more than 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is constantly the target of scams, and an old scheme is back on the platform: the supposed premium version of the app. The attack would be proliferating via messages forwarded within the app, which contains a link to download a virus.

As explained by Tech Radar, some users received messages with the offer to use “WhatsApp Gold”, which would bring extra functions within the application and even contact celebrities. The problem, however, is that the supposed premium version of the platform is fake and the link provided to supposedly download the paid edition of the app ends up leading to malware.

The WhatsApp Gold scam is not new and the messages that circulate offering the premium version of the service have been running on the app since 2016. With the Coronavirus quarantine, the number of WhatsApp users has grown and the use of functions such as video calls and voice have doubled in some countries, according to Facebook. With this, the environment is conducive for schemes to circulate again in the user network.

Another old rumor that was reborn with WhatsApp Gold was the warning about a video called Martinelli, which supposedly would damage the phone when played. The fake message is used to generate panic in users and eventually comes with a download link bringing the supposed solution to the problem, which is actually malware.

In a statement, Facebook said it was working to combat threats and fake news circulating on WhatsApp in times of pandemic, in addition to maintaining the decent usage experience. “During this emergency, we are doing everything possible to keep our applications fast, stable and reliable,” said the company.


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