WhatsApp users in the country have been receiving messages from a Wireless Application Service Provider (Wasp) stating: “You have not updated to the latest WhatsApp Add-ons,” the site reported.
Users are then prompted to click on a link that takes them to a page with a green ‘CONTINUE’ button.
If users click the ‘CONTINUE’ button and do not read all the fine print underneath, they would be charged R7 a day (more than R200 a month) on their phone bills.
Hoax-Slayer said it was technically legal for Wasp providers to do this as they disclose the added fees in fine print under the ‘CONTINUE’ button, which users do not read.
According to The Techie Guy, a blog by IT consultant Liron Segev, WhatsApp should be updated through the official application store.
“Developers of apps hate managing different versions of their app, and the official application store makes it simple to have one point, which notifies all their users of the new version,” said Segev.
“Developers may offer access to early beta versions of their software direct from their site, but that is applicable to a niche audience, and legitimate app developers would never invoke a system such as an SMS to ask their users to update their apps.”
My Broadband issued the following tips to unsubscribe from a Wasp’s service from Cell C, MTN, or Vodacom:
- Cell C: Using the USSD string *133*1# subscribers can block all existing and future content billing.
- MTN: Dial *141*5# and select which services to unsubscribe from.
- Vodacom: Vodacom users can unsubscribe from all Wasp services by sending “STOP ALL” to 30333.