According to a message that is being shared on WhatsApp, you can follow a link to activate an Internet bundle that includes 1000 GB of free data. Versions of the message have been circulating on WhatsApp since at least July 2019.
Supposedly, the 1000 GB data pack is “valid for 60 days without WIFI with WhatsApp”.
The message urges you to click a link to get your free pack before they run out.
Here’s what the scam post looks like:
You can now activate a free internet bundle of 1000 GB valid for 60 days without WIFI with WhatsApp.
Hurry to get before the end of the packs
[Link to the scam website removed]
The link opens a website that asks you to complete a short survey to get your free 1000 GB:
After you answer the “three simple questions”, the site will pretend to check your answers before declaring you a winner. In reality, every visitor is declared a winner no matter what answers they give.
Next, you will be instructed to send the same message to 20 friends or 5 groups via WhatsApp:
But, no matter how many times you share the scam message, you will never receive the promised free data pack. By tricking people into sharing the message, the scammers ensure that their bogus giveaway is seen by a growing pool of potential victims.
So what are the scammers hoping to gain? Computer security firm ESET notes in a July 2019 blog post:
Apparently their goal here is click fraud – a highly prevalent monetization scheme that relies on racking up bogus ad clicks that ultimately bring revenues for the operators of any given campaign.
In fact, the 1000 GB free Internet scam post is just one in a number of similar scams that have targetted WhatsApp users in recent years.
In 2016, scammers distributed a post that promised WhatsApp users free “ultra-light WiFi”. Users were tricked into first sharing the scam messages and then divulging their personal information on dodgy websites that supposedly offered the chance to win further prizes. A similar 2015 version tricked users into downloading malware as well as visiting survey scam websites.
There have been many other variations of the scam. Be cautious of any message on WhatsApp that promises free gifts, upgrades, or addons.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!