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According to a message that is circulating via WhatsApp, the company has decided to let the app “work without Internet” at no extra cost.
Supposedly, to take advantage of this new feature, you are required to send the same message to 12 people. The message claims that, once you have shared as instructed, the red light will turn green to indicate that the new feature is active.
But the claims in the message are utter nonsense. The message was not sent by WhatsApp and no amount of sharing will make the app work without an Internet or mobile connection.
The idea outlined in the message is just silly. Like other such apps, WhatsApp uses your phone’s WiFi or mobile network (4G,3G,2G etc) to send and receive messages. Surely, it hardly needs to be said that WhatsApp will never send and receive messages if your phone is not connected via WiFi, a mobile network, or another type of network connection.
And WhatsApp does not charge you to send messages. An FAQ on the WhatsApp website notes:
Is it free to send messages over WhatsApp?
WhatsApp uses your phone’s Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to send and receive messages to your friends and family. You do not have to pay for every message. As long as you have not exceeded your data limit or you are connected to a free Wi-Fi network, your carrier should not charge you extra for messaging over WhatsApp.
In fact, the message is just one more in a long line of similar WhatsApp hoaxes and scams that have falsely claimed that you can avoid charges or gain extra features by sending a message to other users.
Any message that makes such a claim is sure to be fraudulent. If you receive such a message, do not send it to any other people. And, do not follow any links that the message may contain. Some versions try to trick users into installing malware or visiting scam websites.
An example of the hoax message:
🔴Hello this is the whatsapp company. We have decided to let whatsapp work without internet without any additional charges. Send this message to 12 people and the red light will turn green to show that you have done it. This message is optional but we are guaranteed that it will work.