An IT expert, Onu Grace has warned users of the online messaging app, WhatsApp not to click on links in forwarded messages offering free internet.
Grace, founder of Clickaway Hub, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Clickaway hub is an Abuja based ICT firm that is into training of young school leavers in ICT skills.
Grace said the WhatsApp message promising to unlock free internet access upon clicking, is a new method of scam that has been recently adopted by scammers.
She stated that oftentimes, such messages promising free internet is sent across on the chatting platform by some users.
Example of such messages reads: “WhatsApp offers 100GB free internet or N3,600 credit and 10GB internet’’; “WhatsApp is celebrating 20 years anniversary get free 10G’’; “WhatsApp is updating its features, get free unlimited internet,’’.
Grace reiterated: “A lot of times we receive such messages, but in the search for online freebies, do not click on the attached link because you might just be a scam away.
“The attached linked URL is not WhatsApp official website, instead it is set up by scammers’’.
She said the first click may seem harmless as it often directs users to a survey questionnaire, asking them to fill out their opinions and options.
“Most often, after filling such questionnaires, it instructs you to pass on the offer to 30 more people to qualify for the internet reward.
“This is just a ploy to boost the reach of the scam campaign and have more prospective victims to hack their phone device,’’ She said.
According to her, such links after a while or at any time ended up becoming scam sites which can be used to gain access to users’ online information which had been earlier provided in the filled questionnaire.
Scammers can also use such links to install malicious software or virus on user’s device which could be dangerous or damaging.
She advised that if such message is received, users should simply ignore and not passed unto others to stop further spread.