Over one million WhatsApp users were stung by this elaborate scam 3 years ago

Over one million WhatsApp users were stung by this elaborate scam

Don't get caught out...

'Fake News' was declared one of the words of the year by Collins Dictionary due to its rise in popularity, in no small way down to Donald Trump's fondness of the phrase.


But, it's not just fake news these days, it's fake apps as well.

A fake Android app disguised as an update to the popular messaging app WhatsApp was downloaded more than a million times from the Google Play Store.

Named Update WhatsApp Messenger, the app is in no way associated to the official WhatsApp app. But it had a near identical name and image on the Google Play Store for a period of time before it was deleted from the Play Store altogether.

The suspicious Android app was published by a developer called Whasp. Business Inc., and was uploaded to the Play Store under the name WhatsApp Business, before later being changed to Update WhatsApp.

The fake app contained ads and a code to download another piece of software to people's devices.


It asked users for a number of invasive permissions including the ability to receive data from internet, view network connections, have full network access, and prevent your device from sleeping.

The app has since been deleted from the Play Store, but not before it appeared to be downloaded over one million times.