There’s WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, the two official versions of WhatsApp. However, you will find modded versions of the instant messaging apps scattered on the Play Store and third-party APK sites. Turns out WhatsApp Pink is the latest to hit the market and has successfully duped a lot of people who might think it is just another and presumably official version of WhatsApp. Here’s everything you need to know about WhatsApp Pink and why you should steer away from it.
WhatsApp Pink is Fake
Of course, the app tends to change the theme to ‘pinkish’ rather than clinging to a ‘greenish’ palette. However, you must understand that the app is fake. A security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia in April 2021 which means, WhatsApp Pink is nothing new. Perhaps, it’s fake and an app that claims to introduce enhanced features to lure the users.
What Does WhatsApp Pink Scam Do?
Let’s understand how the app affects you as an individual. When you download an app, you have to give it certain permissions so that it functions properly. When a fake app disguised as a legit app (called phishing) is installed, it too asks for permissions. The cue for a scam app is, they ask for a lot of permissions. It is almost as if you are handing over your phone to the scamsters. Turns out WhatsApp Pink pulls the same tactic luring users to grant all permissions to their devices.
Once the access is granted, scamsters can access all your data, photos, files, videos, contacts, PDFs, both public and sensitive data among others whatever you can have stored on your phone to date. Since we store a lot of stuff on the phone from banking details, PINs, sensitive documents, government identification cards, etc., this poses a huge threat to you as an individual.
Scamsters can use the data accessed for anything from blackmailing you to committing a heinous crime such as bank fraud. Since the documents to be used are likely yours, you become a prime accused in a crime that you never committed and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt security experts around the world advise users to avoid entangling themselves in such apps that promise features too unbelievable to be true because ‘THEY AREN’T TRUE’ because it could be an attempt to lure you into an elaborate WhatsApp scam.
How Do They Reach Out To You?
Google Play Store has mechanisms to prevent dubious apps and yet, some would stick. However, WhatsApp Pink primarily spreads through messages prompting people to download a better version of WhatsApp with enhanced features. The message might come on your existing WhatsApp out of the blue. You might get a prompt from a friend’s or a family member’s number whose account has been hacked too.
If your device is hacked, the scamsters will forward messages asking others to join WhatsApp Pink pretending to be from you. This is how the web of affected users gets multiplied.
WhatsApp Pink Can Be Dangerous
Stealing your data, blackmailing you and stuff are legit ways scamsters can prove WhatsApp Pink dangerous for you or those affected. A spyware installed on your system can skim through messages tapping on the OTPs sent for banking purposes raising the risk of monetary fraud. Your activities can be monitored using spyware and you wouldn’t ever know making it more dangerous than you can assume.
How To Protect Yourself From Malicious Apps?
There’s no rocket science as all you need is to keep a few things in mind and you’ll stay away from such malicious apps.
- Always make sure you download apps from the Google Play Store (for Android) and App Store (for iOS).
- Read reviews on app stores to gather intel on whether an app is promising or malicious in any way.
- Read the ‘permissions required’ while installing an app. Any app asking for illegitimate access such as a calendar app asking for ‘location’, it’s a red flag.
- Avoid downloading apps from APK websites and links sent on the internet without vetting the legitimacy of the app.
- Perform a restore factory (or flash iOS/Android) if your phone has been compromised.
- Keep the Android/iOS software updated to stay ahead of potential threats.
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