In August 2020, CfA’s iLab identified a fraudulent message being shared on WhatsApp, a messaging application owned by Facebook. The message read “You can now get a free internet bundle of 50GB (All Networks) valid for 90days in Celebration of WhatsApp Anniversary”.
This in itself is not unusual as companies occasionally run promotional campaigns offering gift packages to users when celebrating major milestones or events. However, this promotion was found to be strikingly suspicious..
The scam is set up to primarily spread via WhatsApp groups through a chain messaging strategy and is made to appear as if it’s received from a friend who has claimed it and therefore recommends the offer. The message shared has an attached link and if the user clicks on it, they are directed to a landing page with a WhatsApp logo, a bright counter showing the offer is close to expiry, and simple steps on how to claim the offer - accessed by completing a survey.