WhatsApp has issued a stern warning to Android users, asking them to beware of the fake versions of the instant messaging apps. The warning comes in the form of a tweet thread from Will Cathcart, the CEO of WhatsApp, who said that users who use any modified version of the app will end up in big trouble. WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging mobile application, with approximately two billion active users. It is also the popular target of scammers who want to trick users through different techniques.
In his tweet, Mr Cathcart said that the security research team of the company found some malicious apps that claim to offer services similar to WhatsApp. "Recently our security team discovered hidden malware within apps - offered outside of Google Play - from a developer called "HeyMods" that included "Hey WhatsApp" and others," he said in the tweet.
"These apps promised new features but were just a scam to steal personal information stored on people's phones. We've shared what we found with Google and worked with them to combat the malicious apps," Mr Cathcart further said.
The fake versions of WhatsApp are not available on Google Play Store, but users are lured into downloading these apps from unofficial sources. Mr Cathcart's warning is for these users.
"Google Play Protect on Android can now detect and disable previously downloaded malicious fake versions of WhatsApp. We appreciate the help of Google for their continued work to prevent malicious apps from proliferating on Android devices," tweeted the WhatsApp head.
Meanwhile, a report said that the company has launched a beta version of the new macOS WhatsApp app built on Catalyst technology. The report by WABetaInfo said that WhatsApp beta app for macOS is said to look quite different from the existing design.