New WhatsApp scam asks for your personal data

  • HT Correspondent, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2016 14:40 IST

Everyone’s favourite app, WhatsApp, is the victim of a new scam which deceives users into disclosing their personal information that might be used against then.

The Independent quoted another report claiming that the scam appears in the form of links that seemingly come from friends and leads users to a discount page which asks for personal details of the user.

Read more: WhatsApp goes free, will get more businesses on its platform

Some unassuming user may be led to a fake website via the links which in turn infects the user’s phone with malware allowing the hacker to get access to sensitive information about the user.

Recently, WhatsApp crossed a billion users in the world and has over 65 million users in India, so the effect of the malware attack can be far reaching. The company, which recently waived off the 99 cents subscription charge annually, has also bumped up the number of users in groups from 100 to 256 which could also lead to a massive malware infection.

Read more: WhatsApp now boasts a billion users

The report also quoted David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab saying that the scam operates in a range of languages. “We have noted that this WhatsApp scam has been actively circling for some time. It ‘speaks’ several languages so the attacks can be customised for each market,” Emm was quoted as saying.

“The message convinces the user to forward the message to 10 contacts, so he/she can receive a certain promotion (such as £5 discount at Starbucks, Zara etc),” Emm added.

Earlier, security experts had exposed another scam in the app that was posing a threat to all users by attempting to access and retrieve information from banking apps on users’ smartphones.

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