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.