WhatsApp is one of the most used mobile apps out there for messaging friends and participating in group chats. Recently however, Android users were informed of an update to WhatsApp Messenger on the Google Play Store that at face value came from WhatsApp Inc. themselves. However, this all turned out to be a massive ruse. Instead of downloading anything official, users had been tricked into download a fake app that contained adverts and downloaded malicious software onto the user’s device in secret.
The developers of this knock-off made it look as legitimate as possible with an identical app logo and seemingly appeared as the real developers. They managed this latter point by replacing the space in the name with a character that would look invisible when viewed in the App Store. This made it near-impossible to tell which one was the real WhatsApp.
Eventually, a Reddit user on the Android Sub-Reddit, by the name of E_x_Lnc, discovered the two identical developers and brought it to light, warning customers not to be fooled by the fake. The scary thing is this isn’t the first case of this kind of incident occurring on Android.
Now the fake WhatsApp has been removed by Google and the developers have changed their name but this doesn’t erase the app from the phones of anyone who downloaded it. There is a simple way to check if you have the real version though.
• First, you need to go into your phone settings and check under the apps tab.
• Find WhatsApp among the list of apps.
• Finally, check for App Details under the ‘Store’ header.
This will take you to the Google Play store page where you should now be able to discern whether or not this is the real deal. Key things to look for are the Pegi Rating (which should be 3) and the amount of downloads (which go over 1 billion). You can also download an anti-virus onto your Smartphone to makes sure it is scrubbed clean of any nasty infections
If you make sure to do all of this then you should be safe.