So you are enjoying a chat with your friend or in a group and a message comes in with one of these “freebies”- Get 4G WhatsApp, Activate WhatsApp video call, Download Gold WhatsApp today, free iPhone etc. You get excited and click on the link, follow the rules and fill the form, expecting to get the reward. Days go by and you realize it was a scam and you just gave out private information that can be used against you.
Every day people keep falling for such scams. So today, I’m going to expose these scams and teach you what to look out for when presented with a “freebie”. Here we go:
1. The Amazon Lucky wheel Scam: This scam also called “Big Billion Days Spin The Lucky Wheel!” has been making the rounds lately with its many variations. One of them looks like this.
When you click on the link it takes you to an Amazon site with a Big Billion Deal for just that day. You get to spin a big wheel and who knows, you might win an iPhone 7. What do you have to lose? A lot.
First, the site is a clear Fake. Amazon’s official parent site is amazon.com and any site under Amazon comes under the official site like amazon.com/deals or blog.amazon.com. From the link, the scammers use 125xc.com as the parent site and amazon.com.125xc.com is under their site. They put amazon.com in front to scam people into believing it’s real.
Is 158xa.com, msnmx.com, 321xa.com or rynad.com scam too? Yes! They are all part of the Amazon Lucky wheel Scam, a duplicate of the extinct 125xc.com, it just the same scam with different websites, as they tend to change domain when people stops falling for it. The 158xa.com domain is a recently registered website and as at January 2017, the domain is roughly 1 month 1 week old, unlike the older 125xc.com. If you visit 321xa.com or rynad.com you will find out all are the same websites, just different URLs. Some of the formerly used website are been taken down, but they seem to change domain often. The message comes in this format: 😍 see this now 321xa.com or 😍 see this now rynad.com or 😍 see this now msnmx.com
Secondly, the promo says it is for only that day but if you change your phone’s date and reloaded the page, the promo day also changes. Time-based promos are fixed to a particular date irrespective of the date on your phone.
Also if you look at the Facebook comments below the wheel, it looks different from the Facebook current template. You can’t click on the profiles or like the comment. Clearly, it is a fake Facebook comment section.
What they want is to acquire your details and sell them while they gain money for every person that visits their fake site.
2. Internet Free WiFi:
This is one of the deceptive campaigns that is spreading like wild fire on Whatsapp as tricksters are always looking for ways to lure victims to their trap.
It goes like : You can already get Internet Free Without WI-FI with Whatsapp, and it is by means of invitation, here I give you an invitation!
This new scam promise to offer users Free internet services if you invite your friends and family. This is very funny from a technical point of view, as it promise to offer internet service without Wi-Fi. Just as most of all Whatsapp scams are spread, this also comes in form of a message from a friend of a group on Whatsapp who also wants to take advantage of the proclaimed “Free Internet Service”.
If you decide to test the link it takes you to a page to help give the campaign a good and credible look, afterwards which it would ask you to recommend 13 friends just as seen below.
You can also see a very common attribute of these scam on this page- Fake Facebook comments and profile. After sharing to friends on Whatsapp you would be directed to a page that asks you to install traceable malware apps on your smartphones with the ultimate goal of stealing your data.
The worst thing about these scams are, after all the victims won’t get any free internet[ did you really expect to?], but now have malwares on their devices.
3. 6GB Internet Loot Scam:
I’m yet to see anyone who won this. This one makes me laugh because the company name is not stated. A company doing a promo will flash its name and logo in your face so you remember them. Also, no company promoting its site gives away free data. Instead they would give free samples or discounts of what they sell/offer. When you click on this link, they will ask for your details as usual. When you give them, they promise to send the data after you share the link to a certain number of people. They never deliver. Most times your details will be sold to hackers or companies who will keep sending your rubbish bonanza mails. Now you know why you get porn magazines in your mails.
4. Charge Your Battery Scam:
This one plays on many people’s ignorance on how communication works. A message is static data and cannot alter itself or a phone for that matter. So sharing a message like this cannot do anything except expose a person’s ignorance to his friends and make people avoid you. WHATSAPP MESSAGES ARE STATIC, THEY WILL NOT CHANGE OR UPDATE ANYTHING ON YOUR PHONE BY SHARING THEM. PERIOD. The person who created this message is just seeing how far a stupid idea can go. Don’t fall for it.
5. Jim Balsamic (CEO of WhatsApp) Scam:
This is very annoying when I come across it because
- Jim Balsamic is not the CEO of WhatsApp. WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton and the current CEO is Jan Koum.
- WhatsApp has been declared free-of-charge by Jan Koum and has remained so even after the Facebook acquisition.
- WHATSAPP MESSAGES ARE STATIC, THEY WILL NOT CHANGE OR UPDATE ANYTHING ON YOUR PHONE BY SHARING THEM. PERIOD. The people who make such scams are basically testing human stupidity and laughing at those who share such information.
- Activate WhatsApp 4G/Video/Voice Call Scam:
This is just bogus. The link is similar to the 6GB internet loot scam and they follow the same process of sharing to activate. From the moment you click the link, the scamsters make money, so they encourage you to share to others so they make more money. Secondly, while sharing they are gaining access to your user profile and personal information either to sell it or use it against you.
WhatsApp’s official site is whatsapp.com from which you can download the latest updates for your phone. Mobile Apps get their updates either through the developer’s official website or through their respective App stores. Fortunately this update will be available soon. Also if you want to video call, you could try Facebook’s Messenger, Skype, Viber or BBM.
7. Download Gold WhatsApp Scam
This particular one is highly dangerous because you actually download a WhatsApp Gold that was not produced by WhatsApp. It is a spyware app built to look like WhatsApp. The dangerous part is that your messages, contact details and all actions taken on your mobile are passing directly into the hands of hackers. It is so bad that WhatsApp bans accounts that have used this app for 24 hrs before they can use the real WhatsApp again. Only download apps from official sites.
There are a lot of things flying on the internet as freebies that end up costing people more than they hoped. There are also genuine freebies done by companies through their “official” sites and advertising channels. The key is to be able to distinguish between Truth and False by digging a bit deeper.
Kindly share this amazing tips with your friends on social media, so we can all be safe. Thank You! 🙂