Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #264 9/10/2014

Question: Is an email from WhatsApp saying I have a voicemail legitimate?


No this is a phishing email trying to use your machine to send messages at a high cost to you. It will say if you click a play button that you can hear a voice message someone is sending you. However it will then begin wanting to install an app that will then start sending messages thru your device at premium rates. This is really a problem for mobile device users and not desktop users but I suspect there could be possible problems for Windows 8 users.

Whatsapp is a free messaging system that is an app that you can install. Whatsapp thinks they may replace SMS messaging (better known as texting), and they compare themselves to other applications that replaced powerhouses.

This phishing message takes advantage of it being an app this and is aimed particularly at Android users to download and install a fraudulent app.

If you are using a non-jail broken iPhone this phishing email will not affect you since Apple makes iPhone use their App store.

The real Whatsapp is available for iPhone, Android, other mobile devices and desktop systems.

Be careful what apps you do install on your mobile devices and be careful on emails that they are really legitimate before installing software an email wants you to install. This does become harder and harder every day to distinguish legitimate and non-legitimate software. Sites like download.com also make it more difficult as it is hard to always see the real software you wanted to download for the others that are often malware loaded that have similar big download buttons.