WhatsApp is working on a feature, which should see a major reduction in potentially fraudulent spam messages received by users.
In a forthcoming version of the app, WhatsApp will alert users when they receive a message that has been been forwarded at least 25 times.
The feature will show a prominent warning within the chat bubble itself, alerting users that this message has been forwarded many times.
WABetaInfo says the warning feature is currently in testing and is likely to graduate to the iOS and Android versions of the app.
Often spam messages look to fool users into thinking they have to act to continue using the app for free.
A common message received by users reads as such: “WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user.”
WhatsApp used to charge a yearly fee for using its app, but hasn’t done so for years.
See it, say it, sorted…
Users of the Facebook-owned app can report spam messages when they receive them, but for many less tech-savvy members of the community, the offending messages may not be obvious.
While it’s unlikely to eliminate spam altogether, the warning system should spot most of the messages, because offenders never send messages to just one user.
In its own spam guide WhatsApp advises users to beware of messages with poor spelling and grammar or any messages that request personal information.
The firm also says requests to forward messages should be reported, as well as any that tell users they have to pay money in order to use the service.
“If you’ve received spam from a contact, delete the message and do not click on any links or provide personal information. Tell the contact that the message they sent includes spam and point them to this WhatsApp safety page,” WhatsApp says.
Have you experienced persistent problems with spam while using WhatsApp? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter?