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Beware of WhatsApp video calling invite link, it’s a spam

A link claiming to be an invite to activate the latest video calling feature on WhatsApp has been circulating on the app.

whatsapp-video-calling-screens

Image Credit - WhatsApp


WhatsApp earlier this week introduced the much sought after video calling feature. The feature has already been rolled out to its Android and iOS apps. Shortly after the feature was introduced, spammers have already taken a hold on WhatsApp users. A link is currently being circulated on WhatsApp that claims to be an invitation to activate the video calling feature on the app. But be beware, the link is nothing but a spam.

The spam message reads, “You’re invited to try WhatsApp Video Calling feature.” Along with the link, it says, “Only people with the invitation can enable this feature.” When you click on the link, it takes you to a website that claims to have the link for activating the video calling service. The website has been crafted in such a way that it looks quite believable. The website also says that this feature is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. The spammers have gone up to the extent of posting screenshots of the video call feature, which again looks quite believable. Not only do the screenshots show an ongoing video call between two people, it also shows an ongoing group video call. Scrolling down below the page, one can see information about group video calling. It says that the video calling feature can be used for groups as well, with participants up to five people.

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On clicking the option to ‘enable’ video calling feature on WhatsApp, a new page opens up which shows the process of video calling beginning with messages like ‘video calls activating service’, ‘receiving answer’ and ‘receiving verification link’. After that, the next step shown is for user verification. On clicking that option, the next step is to show that you are an active user on WhatsApp by inviting four friends to try this feature that would be by sharing the link; and to share the link on four active groups. There is also an option to invite either an individual user or a group on WhatsApp, and below that the option to continue.

whatsapp video calling spam 2

One should be wary of this spam link as it is being widely circulated among WhatsApp users. It has also come to our knowledge that many people have actually clicked on the link with curiosity. Just opening the link can expose one’s phone to spammers which would then give them the opportunity to hack into the phone and collect sensitive data and information. For those who are still confused on how to actually get the video calling feature, just update the WhatsApp app by going to Play Store for Android users and App Store for iOS users. After WhatsApp is updated, the video calling feature will be automatically enabled on the app. On Android, the feature can be found on the call icon which appears on top of a chat. On clicking that there will be options to either make a voice call or a video call. On iOS devices, the feature is even simpler as the video icon itself appears on top of the chat box, just before the voice call icon. ALSO READ: WhatsApp launches video calling feature; here’s how it works

Circulation of such spams are not a new phenomenon, and spammers have always targeted popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook. It may be recalled that even before the video calling feature was rolled out, fake links to activate the feature on WhatsApp were being circulated. Do remember one of the the safest choices to enable new features on apps is by updating them to the latest version.

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  • Published Date: November 17, 2016 12:15 PM IST