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Why these fake WhatsApp emails and texts will catch people out

Fraudsters are sending out messages claiming to be from WhatsApp in order to steal banking and personal information. Here is why they might catch people out.

WhatsApp message
  • WhatsApp stopped charging users in 2016.
  • Emails and text messages claim that your subscription has expired.

Long term users of WhatsApp will remember paying a 0.99p annual fee to use the messaging service. In 2016, this was scrapped by Facebook who took over running of the company after buying it for £11.4bn.

That means since 2016, the service has been free for every user. 

Whilst late adopters of the service might look at the email below and simply brush it off, long term users will remember paying and could quite easily think the app has gone back to its subscription model and get caught out. 

The emails claim your “subscription will be ending soon” and are after your banking information. We have been getting an increasing number of reports about them over the past couple of days. 

Fraudsters have realised that this is a clever way to dupe people and earlier this month we warned people about the same style of WhatsApp subscription message being sent by text.  

Last year users were being tricked into downloading a fake 'gold' version of WhatsApp which infected Android devices with malware.

If you receive one of these emails or text messages, do not click on any links. Instead, delete it and report it to us. If you have clicked on one of the links, run antivirus software to ensure your device has not been infected with malware

Sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.

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