Whatsapp- a popular messaging app is yet again under the influence of fraudsters. Whatsapp is indeed the linchpin of conversation in India. However, there are certain users who prefer using unofficial versions of Whatsapp such as Yo Whatsapp, GB Whatsapp, and Whatsapp Plus in order to have access to more features than regular Whatsapp. Lately, a new cloned Whatsapp is being advertised called Whatsapp Pink- which is the counterfeited version of Whatsapp. In simpler words, Whatsapp Pink is a fake application that steals the user’s personal data and information.
Users on Whatsapp are receiving a Whatsapp forward which contains a link claiming to be the installation link of the pink-themed version of the app. The message convinces users by claiming that it is the official new version and has a pink theme. Upon installing the app, malicious software will be launched which will infect your mobile and request certain permission, post which scammers get entire access to the mobile including your banking details, one-time-passwords (OTPs), photos, and contacts. It can also affect those who are in contact with you over Whatsapp. Opening possibilities for extortion, clone identity, financial fraud, and etcetera. You will also be bombarded with unwanted advertisements and you may even lose control over your mobile implying your mobile is hacked.
The ‘Pink Whatsapp’ scam was first exposed by internet researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia in 2021. The government has notified citizens about such a scam and directed them to not install it. Mumbai Police also put up a Twitter post alerting Android users of the scam app and asking them to stay vigilant.
In case you have downloaded the app, there is a particular process that needs to be followed before uninstallation. First, you would have to remove all the other devices linked to your ‘Whatsapp Pink’ from the linked devices section. Second, clear all the data followed by the cache, and then uninstall the app.
‘Whatsapp Pink’ additionally has the feature of being ‘hidden’ making it difficult to uninstall in peculiar cases. To find the hidden app, one has to go to the app section via settings. It has been noticed at times the malicious app has no name, thus, the user must also uninstall any such suspicious nameless apps.
‘We must be cautious of the source from where we download the app. It is imperative that users must download apps from verified sources such as ‘Google Play Store’. IPhone users need not fret as Apple’s security measures prohibit installation from unknown sources. Users should not download apps from unknown links or unknown suspicious APKs sent by unknown people or from forwarded texts. Whatsapp’s forwarded label helps us to know IDs the message has been forwarded by a trusted friend or an unknown person. Finally, when receiving such messages, do not forward them to other vulnerable users. If such a message has been forwarded from your device, please warn others about the app’s malicious intent.