What's up with WhatsApp today? Well, imposters of the mobile messaging app are trying to steal your info through Facebook, that's what.

Robin Wauters over at The Next Web reports receiving a request to use the popular mobile messaging app on Facebook on Monday. The problem? WhatsApp doesn't have a Facebook app.

Instead, the request leads users to a not-so-legit URL. According to Wauters, "the end goal appears to be fetching your private Facebook information."

The fake application may say something like "[Person X] has shared 3 pics with you in WhatsApp," but upon actually approving this request, it appears as though your Facebook friends will receive the very same photo-sharing message.

The company has issued a statement on its website, saying, "This has nothing to do with WhatsApp, so please ignore the message… We don’t know if the app can cause any damage, but just to be on the safe side: don’t grant the request."

Though WhatsApp is app-less on Facebook, it has a Facebook page with about 757,000 "Likes."

Both The Next Web and Memeburn have noticed several phony apps masquerading as WhatsApp. Indeed, a recent scan of Facebook turned up several "apps" purporting to offer WhatsApp's services.


facebook spam

Facebook too has jumped onto the apparent spam situation, putting out the following notice for users who click on one of the WhatsApp "applications":

facebook spam

The suspicious request asks for access to one's basic information and information people share with each other on Facebook, according to the WhatsAppen blog. Before allowing any third-party app to access your data, make sure to check how many people are using the product (trusted apps will usually have many); and it never hurts to double check if the company in question actually has an official Facebook application of its own.

You can also see which outside website a Facebook request will direct you to by looking in the bottom left corner of a request window, where Facebook displays the outside URL that you're about to navigate to. The social network will warn you thus before letting you leave its platform: "By proceeding you will be taken to [URL]." If the web address looks like spam or doesn't contain a domain you recognize, avoid proceeding with the request.

To remove any application from your Facebook, use these instructions from the Facebook Help Center.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • Clickjacking

    Clickjackers on Facebook entice users to copy and paste text into their browser bar by posting too-good-to-be-true offers and eye-catching headlines. Once the user infects his own computer with the malicious code, the clickjackers can take control of his account, spam his friends and further spread their scam. For example, clickjacking schemes hit Facebook soon after bin Laden's death and spread like wildfire by purporting to offer users a glimpse at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/04/bin-laden-death-video-hoax_n_857730.html" target="_hplink">video or photos of bin Laden's death</a>.

  • Fake Polls Or Questionnaires

    If you click on an ad or a link that takes you to questionnaire on a site outside Facebook, it's best to close the page. When you complete a fake quiz, you help a scammer earn commission. Sometimes the quiz may ask you to enter your mobile number before you can view your results. If the scammers get your number, they could run up charges on your account.

  • Phishing Schemes

    Phishers go after your credentials (username, password and sometimes more), then take over your profile, and may attempt to gain access to your other online accounts. Phishing schemes can be difficult to spot, especially if the scammers have set up a page that resembles Facebook's login portal.

  • Phony Email Or Message

    <a href="http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=1187" target="_hplink">Facebook warns</a> users to be on the lookout for emails or messages from scammers masquerading as "The Facebook Team" or "Facebook." These messages often suggest "urgent action" and may ask the user to update his account. They frequently contain links to malware sites or virus-ridden attachments. They may even ask for your username and password. The best advice Facebook offers is to report the sender and delete the messages without clicking anything.

  • Money Transfer Scam

    If a friend sent you a desperate-sounding Facebook chat message or wall post asking for an emergency money transfer, you'd want to help, right? Naturally. That's what makes this scam so awful. The point is to get you to wire money to scammers via Western Union or another transfer service.

  • Fake Friend Request

    Not all <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/10/facebook-friend-request-spam_n_821584.html?page=1" target="_hplink">friend requests</a> come from real people, despite Facebook's safeguards against bots. Some Facebook accounts exist purely to establish broad connections for spamming or extracting personal data from users, so watch out whose friend requests you accept.

  • Fake Page Spam

    Malicious pages, groups or event invitations aim to trick the user into performing actions that Facebook considers "abusive." For instance, a fake invite might offer a prize if you forward it to all your friends or post spammy content on their walls. Sometimes a scammer will set up fake pages as a front for a clickjacking or phishing scheme.

  • Rogue Apps

    Malicious apps are pretty common on Facebook these days. They can be a cover for phishing, malware, clickjacking or money transfer schemes. Oftentimes, the apps look convincingly real enough for users to click "Allow," as they would do with a normal Facebook app. However, rogue apps use this permission to spread spam through your network of friends. For example, the recent "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/08/facebook-closing-accounts-scam-app_n_846737.html" target="_hplink">Facebook Shutdown</a>" scam spread by claiming that Facebook would delete all inactive accounts except those that confirmed via app installation.

  • The Koobface Worm

    The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koobface" target="_hplink">Koobface worm</a> is getting on in years (it first appeared in late 2008) and has been mostly scrubbed from the site, but Facebook still warns users to look out for it. Koobface spreads across social networks like Facebook via posts containing a link that claims to be an Adobe Flash Player update. Really, the link downloads malware that will infect your computer, hijack your Facebook profile and spam all your friends with its malicious download link. This worm affects mostly Windows users.