Fake WhatsApp Facebook apps trick users into installing potentially malicious software
The popular cross-platform mobile instant messenger, WhatsApp, has found popularity with scammers using its branding to trick users into giving access to contact details as well as installing potentially malicious software.
No official Facebook app for WhatsApp
It’s easy to identify which Facebook apps are fake as WhatsApp themselves do not have an official app for the social networking site, only a Facebook page. Unfortunately, thousands of people have already installed the fake apps before realising they are not legitimate.
The fake apps each attempt to access your contact details to send your contacts invites to the app. Once victims install the app, they are taken to various web sites to install browser toolbars and other potentially malicious software on their computer. Victims are also presented with various other suspicious Facebook pages and are encouraged to press the Like button.
At present, many of the apps are unavailable, which would indicate that Facebook are taking action to remove them. However, users should continue to be wary of their presence and of the potential risk of other similar scams.
Already fallen victim to this scam?
If you’ve installed one of these fake apps on Facebook, follow these steps to remove it:
- From your news feed page, click Apps from the left menu
- Next to the WhatsApp app, click the Edit button
- Choose Remove.
If you have installed various browser toolbars, you should be able to remove these from your computer by clicking Add/Remove Programs from the Windows Control Panel.