Bogus WhatsApp Update Will Have You Seeing Red
If you ever get asked to update your WhatsApp to your favorite color, don't. It's probably spam.
According to Reddit user Yuexist, a new WhatsApp adware is going around disguised as an update.
The spammer used non-ASCII characters rather than ASCII to look identical to its "whatsapp.com" counterpart. This fueled the adware's supposed legitimacy. Thus, WhatsApp users may see a whatsapp.com URL and think it's legitimate, but it's really with Cyrillic characters instead of its ASCII equivalents.
After clicking on the fake WhatsApp link, the user is commanded to share the link with multiple other groups to verify identity. After sharing, the user unknowingly spams more groups of people. Then, the adware forces you to install a series of its spam apps onto your phone.
Now, you have just installed the adware. After installing the adware, do you get to change your WhatsApp to the color of your choice? Nope.
The adware will instruct you to download a new extension for your desktop browser before you can get WhatsApp colors. After clicking on the fake WhatsApp extension link, you have also just introduced adware onto your computer.
So, pay attention to your URLs. If you see a link that looks like WhatsApp.com, but you aren't sure, hover over it. You should see the actual link pop up, alerting you to its legitimacy. If you are on your phone, long press on the link to check the URL.
For instance, check out the alleged spammer of WhatsApp colors and her suspicious Twitter handle here. Notice if you hover over her WhatsApp link, that it doesn't actually spell out WhatsApp.com, but rather "xn--80aa2cah8a7f73b.com" This is exactly what you have to look out for when it comes to spammers.