When I woke up this morning, I received a surprising WhatsApp message from a person I would least expect to send me a message. That person told me that he was inviting me to use WhatsApp calling feature and I should click on the given link to activate WhatsApp calling. I was surprised to see this message. I know WhatsApp has been testing the calling feature but I didn’t know the invitation and activation worked this way. Of course looking at the link, I guessed something was fishy about that message and the link. When I got time this evening, I followed the link and it turned out to be an obvious scam.
The link given it the message is – WhatsappCalling.com. Upon clicking the link, it opens the page congratulating you for being invited to try WhatsApp calling. The page asks user to invite 10 other friends to activate WhatsApp calling. There are two buttons on the page – Invite Now and Continue. Upon clicking Invite Now button, WhatsApp app opens on user’s device where he/she can select friends to forward the message to.
If you click Continue without sending the message to 10 people, the button does not work and instead the page asks you to invite the remaining number of people. I was kind of shocked to see it. Was the page snooping into my WhatsApp? Has it gained access to my WhatsApp? How does it come to know how many people I have forwarded the message to? Upon looking at the page’s source, it was clear that the page did not have access to WhatsApp and it did not know how many times I have forwarded the message. It simply has a counter starting from 0 and every time you click Invite Now, it is increased by 1. When it reaches 10, it allows you to continue.
The continue button takes user to another page where it asks to complete a survey before the feature can be activated. The text used here is smart. “You might be aware that Whatsapp is rolling out this feature to only a few selected users as of now due to lack of resources. Please help us by filling up a simple survey so that we can soon make this feature available for everyone.”
When user clicks on Take The Survey button, another webpage opens as Final Step. This page contains two more links and ask user to click one of the link to activate the service. When clicked on one of the link, advertisement page opens up.
It is clearly the brain work of someone with intention of earning money by referring users to these advertisement pages. I am not sure if click Invite Now button opens the WhatsApp app on every device but on Android and iOS it does open WhatsApp. This scam is used at the very right time when millions of WhatsApp users are eagerly waiting for WhatsApp to release its calling feature and it is not a surprise many users are falling into such scams.
If you have received such message, just delete/ignore it. Also make the sender and other friends aware of this scam so they do not fall for it too.
Have you received such message? Share it with us. Comments are welcomed.