08/20/2012 02:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Facebook Spam: WhatsApp Imposter App Reportedly Phishing Users' Data

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.



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