Users are being warned about a fake version WhatsApp for Business app, which has been available to download from the Google Play Store.
Users have been tricked into the downloading the fake version of the upcoming WhatsApp for Business app, which has been created by a developer with the name of “Whasp Business Inc.”, partly because it has a high rating, despite reviews calling it a “fraud app” or using terms such as “data theft”.
Scores of users took to Twitter to reveal that their phone was bombarded with ads when they installed the app. Information regarding the app was then picked up by prominent WhatsApp aficionado site WABetaInfo who also tweeted about it.
— Mᵁᴶᵀᴬᴮᴬ Mᴬᴺˢᴼᴼᴿ (@MujtabaMHaq) October 31, 2017
While fake versions of WhatsApp, or indeed many other popular apps, being present in the Google Play Store is nothing new, what makes this particular app dangerous is that it is masquerading as the new version of WhatsApp that Facebook owned firm is currently testing among a select group of users.
Because the real version of WhatsApp for Business is yet to launch people see the fake version in the Google Play Store and assume it is the real deal.
When a user downloads the fake app it asks for a whole host permissions, including network access, being able to prevent the device from sleeping and vibration control.
In August, WhatsApp revealed plans to launch WhatsApp Business, which will make it easier for users to connect with businesses. While its launch date is yet to be confirmed the business version of the world’s most popular messaging app is being beta tested.
The business version is expected to allow users to place orders through the app and receive status updates and production information from businesses.
Update – the fake WhatsApp for Business app has now been removed from the Google Play Store.