Subscription trap: "WhatsApp Gold"

WhatsApp is on the top of the messenger services used most. Its popularity makes it attractive for fraudsters, as many users increase their chance to succeed with their traps. Right now, many users of WhatsApp receive a message about a new offer with many additional functions: WhatsApp Gold.

 

In order to get the new service, users are demanded to forward the information about WhatsApp Gold to ten of their friends. To raise the tention, the offer is only available for a maximum of 300 seconds. As soon as the user forwarded the message, they are requested to cut any eventual wireless connection.

 

Caution: WhatsApp Gold does not exist! The offer is a trap in order to get consumers to indicate their own phone number as well as the phone numbers of ten further persons. When they click on "Fortfahren" ("continue"), they get forwarded to several other websites that offer games, products or raffles. In many cases, those offers are so called subscription traps, which means that users conclude contracts without being aware of the conditions or costs.

 

Tips of the European Consumer Centre Austria (ECC):

  • In case you reacted to the WhatsApp Gold offer and concluded a subscription contract on one of the websites, turn to your mobile provider in order to avoid debits from your mobile contract.
  • If you receive an invoice, check if there are any contact details like a postal or e-mail address.
  • Protest against the alleged contract in written form. If possible, send a registered letter. Please find enclosed our sample letters which you can adapt to your specific case.
  • If the problem can't be solved this way, please contact ECC Austria via our online complaint form or at info@europakonsument.at with all relevant documents and a description of your situation attached.