How WhatsApp’s Status update escalated into fake news about scammers stealing your bank info

For the first time ever this week, some users have been able to view a Status posting by WhatsApp which informed them that new features and updates will be shared through the feature.

Users will see that the WhatsApp status posting comes with a verified checkmark by its display name. In the first posting, the company decided to share some awareness about its privacy policy by informing users that it doesn’t read or listen to personal conversations as they are end-to-end encrypted.

However, it appears that the Status posting will disappear once a user has gone through it. Usually postings by other users that have been seen will remain in Viewed updates for 24 hours, or until the user removes the posting.

News of WhatsApp’s latest Status has been escalated into fake news by some users who claimed that clicking on the Status will enable scammers to access your online bank account and transfer funds.

Screenshots of such messages have also been shared widely as a forwarded message on WhatsApp, and appears to have originated from a user on Facebook.

The Facebook posting by the user includes a screenshot of a segment from a local news programme about WhatsApp scam tactics. Some netizens were then mistakenly led to believe that the local news programme had already reported and confirmed as news that the WhatsApp status can steal bank account details.

In reality, the news segment in question was reporting on scammers attempting to hijack users’ WhatsApp accounts by tricking them into sharing their six-digit verification code, based on a press statement by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) released on Jan 21.

The post has created some backlash among users on Twitter as it was criticised for causing unnecessary panic.

A user who goes by the handle Xavier Naxa noted that the Facebook posting which was created today has been shared over 50,000 times.

He later shared that the Facebook user has since removed his posting on the social network and apologised for causing the misunderstanding, claiming that he only wanted to spread awareness about potential scam tactics.

The user has also created a new Facebook posting to say that he has received an explanation about the WhatsApp status and urged everyone to no longer panic.

Source: The Star

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