National 12.11.2014 05:18 pm

Don’t be fooled by hoax WhatsApp messages

The logo of WhatsApp, the popular messaging service bought by Facebook, pictured on a smartphone in New York on February 20, 2014

The logo of WhatsApp, the popular messaging service bought by Facebook, pictured on a smartphone in New York on February 20, 2014

Mobile messaging application WhatsApp has not made any official announcement of charging users for sending and receiving messages, regardless of a broadcast message spreading amongst users.

The latest hoax spreading urges users to forward a message to at least 18 different users in their contact list, for the service to remain free.

“We require our active users to forward this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp will then start to charge you,” reads the message.

“Your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts.”

PC Advisor in the UK said messages threatening of Whats­App charging of services had been around since the social chat application launched five years ago.

The computing magazine said the best course of action for users was “just to ignore or delete the message”.

WhatsApp had previously stated that it was inundated with enquiries from users following a similar hoax in 2012.

The hoax message that circulated stated: “WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.”

WhatsApp said: “Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it. While we are flattered that we made it to Hoax Slayer, we would rather work on cool new features instead of debunking silly stories like these.”

Hoax Slayer said even if WhatsApp did decide to start charging its users for sending messages, the company “would certainly not announce its plans to start charging via a vague and poorly-worded instant message”.

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