Around a year back, WhatsApp issued an invite based voice calling feature as a beta test to see how it works and check for any flaws in the system. Most of the messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype have video calling feature. The feature was much anticipated in WhatsApp as well. Finally, the company has rolled out the new feature for all the users via an App update. There is no longer need of the invite.
However, the scamsters have found their way in as always. Such big change in any popular messaging App invites hackers to issue a malware which can steal private information from your cell phone. To recall, similar malware was launched some time ago for WhatsApp where it offered “Gold” WhatsApp which was allegedly available only for celebrities and VIPs. The app was not real, and the company had to issue a statement that they have nothing to do with WhatsApp Gold.
What is the new malware?
The new malware is in the form of an invite which takes you to a website that has a similar color scheme and design as WhatsApp. They have even added a picture of video calling via WhatsApp to make it more ‘authentic’. The malware message that is circulating on WhatsApp claims to enable users to use a special feature i.e. group video calling which is similar to Google Hangout group video chat. WhatsApp has not announced any feature like that yet, and there is a much possibility that it will not come to the App anytime in the near future.
WhatsApp has launched the video calling feature for all the users on November 15th, 2016. You do not need any special invite to use it. The feature will get enabled by updating the software. It is available for all the platforms that are iOS, Android and Windows.
Importance of Indian market for WhatsApp
India is a very important market for WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook. At the moment 160 million active users are there on WhatsApp from India only. The total number of users has crossed 1 billion marks. According to the recent report by WhatsApp, people sent around 8 million messages during the Diwali festival.
Due to the high number of users, WhatsApp has always been one of the favorite targets for hackers. There are a number of users on the platform who are new to the smartphone technology. They use WhatsApp as a new method to communicate. They often fall prey to different scams over the internet including such malware on applications.
You may have any elder family member at home or know someone who may fall for this scam. Do inform them about it and let them know about the consequences as well. The threat to personal information is not the only issue with such malware. They can also send private photos and videos to the hackers along with spam links to your friends and family. It is always better to be on the safer side rather than feeling sorry in the end.