Fake WhatsApp warning

Using fake or modified versions of WhatsApp on Android could lead to your personal information being stolen, warned the company’s CEO, Will Cathcart.

Cathcart said that the company’s security research team found hidden malware within apps offering similar services to WhatsApp, available outside the Google Play Store from a developer called HeyMods.

HeyMods’ offerings include HeyWhatsapp and other modified apps. Users are lured into downloading these apps on the promise of new features, but this is often not the case.

“These apps promised new features but were just a scam to steal personal information stored on people’s phones,” Cathcart warned.

“We’ve shared what we found with Google and worked with them to combat the malicious apps.”

He added that Google Play Protect on Android can now identify and disable previously downloaded fake versions of WhatsApp.

Cathcart said that WhatsApp is taking enforcement action against HeyMods to prevent further harm.

“We’re also taking enforcement action against HeyMods to stop future harm, and will further explore legal options to hold HeyMods and others like them accountable,” he said.

“If you see friends or family using a different form of WhatsApp please encourage them to only use WhatsApp from a trusted app store or our official website directly at https://WhatsApp.com/dl.”

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Fake WhatsApp warning