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Scam watch: WhatsApp subscription message

Whatsapp scamwatch

A WhatsApp message asking you to renew your subscription is doing the rounds again. Don’t fall for it.

Member John Walker told us:

‘My wife received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number claiming that her one-year free trial was coming to an end. It suggested she would no longer be able to use the app unless she updated her payment information.

‘The link included sent her to a webpage where she could enter details to pay 99p for a lifetime subscription. The whole thing seemed fishy, so we ignored it.

‘Upon further research, it appears the message was from a fraudster trying to get hold of her bank details.’

Our say on WhatsApp scams

This scam has reared its head a few times and appears to be doing the rounds again.

WhatsApp used to charge users a 99p subscription fee after the first year, but this was scrapped in 2016. Long-time users may remember paying for the app in the past and could therefore be fooled.

Another common ruse offers users an opportunity to upgrade to a premium version of the app.

If an unknown sender claims to be affiliated with WhatsApp, threatens to suspend your account or offers a cash reward, it’s probably a hoax.

You can report and block the number from within the app. If you clicked the link, we’d recommend running a virus check using Best Buy mobile antivirus software.

Be wary of any links sent to you from an unknown person, whether through text message, social media or email.

Have you or someone you know received the same WhatsApp message? What did you do about it?


This came up in another Conversation. It seemed strange to me that anyone should pay up because WhatsApp is free. I had not appreciated that there used to be a subscription, but that might explain why some have fallen for the scam.

It is best to assume that any request for money or information could be a scam.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Like other emails we should be educated not to click on any links they contain but to access people through their known and trusted address.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

This is doing the rounds again just in time for Christmas when people let their guard down. I’ve passed a warning to all my contacts and asked them to do the same hopefully they’re not too sossled.

Roland says:
23 January 2018

I received a message purporting to be from TALK TALK offering me £ 200 compensation for poor service, I oppted to accept this but soon had a request for a four figure sum to be sent to an address in an African state. At this stage I backed out. I ha ve had several calls from the alleged Talk Talk person trying to make contact, each time I hang up.