Monday 16 January 2017

There Is No 'Free Internet Without WiFi' Offer


A new WhatsApp scam is doing the rounds, promising users of the messaging app a free internet service, without needing to use WiFi.

As usual, the message spreads via WhatsApp groups, or comes from a friend who "recommends" the service – often unaware that it is a scam.

In this case, victims receive a special invitation with a link:


Clicking on the link takes the victim through to a page that tells them to share the message with at least 13 people in order to activate the free WiFi service.

The page contains fake comments from people who have supposedly tried the service, stating that it works, making the scheme appear credible.


It also uses the victim's browser settings to detect their location, and redirect them to a page in their native language.

Having shared the message, unwary users end up on sites where they are usually urged to sign up for costly SMS services or install third party apps.

The aim is to trick the victim into giving away their personal details to the scammer, in the hope of financial reward.

While the promise of free internet without mobile data or a Wi-Fi network may sound tempting, the offer is complete nonsense from a technical point of view.

"Imagine being able to navigate with your smartphone wherever you are, without mobile data from your carrier or a Wi-Fi network," wrote cyber security firm ESET in a blog post .

"Who wouldn't like that while on holiday abroad? It's like magic … because it’s not real. Clicking on this scam won’t change that."

If you know someone who has fallen for the scam, you can help by alerting their contacts to ignore the message and avoid clicking on the link.

You can also report the fraud by flagging it in your browser.



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