Paynesville – A link claiming that WhatsApp is offering free data package to internet users is going viral in Liberia in many various WhatsApp groups.
Report By: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf | Local Voices Liberia Fact Checker
The link claims that WhatsApp, in celebration of its 10th anniversary, is giving away 50 gigabytes (50GB) of data package to users who click the link and complete the steps therein.
The link takes you to a step-by-step question once you click on it. At the end of the questions, a condition precedent to getting the 50GB free data is by sharing the same link in five other WhatsApp groups and 20 friends. After that, you will then have to select one of the green boxes that would later be displayed on your screen to get the gift.
It is important to note that whatever way one chooses to answer the questions, users are allowed to proceed and at the end you are given a message acknowledging that you have won 50GB internet for free. But you will literally receive no data.
WhatsApp is Not 10-Year-Old
First, let’s find out if WhatsApp is celebrating its 10th anniversary before we delve into determining the authenticity of this viral link.
According to CNBC, a business and financial news network headquartered in London and Singapore, WhatsApp was founded in 2009. This means, the technology company has been in existence for 12 years and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.
Also, Info about WhatsApp as published on the company’s website also verifies that the company was founded 12 years ago by Jan Koum and Brian Acton — the pair had previously spent 20 years combined working at Yahoo.
Is the Link Real?
Further verifications carried out on the link using an online tool, which rates the digital trust of websites, revealed that the creation and expiration dates of the website are unknown.
The online tool also shows no information on the identification of the website’s owner, stating that technical data on the ownership of the website could not be retrieved. This suggests that the link did not originate from WhatsApp but was rather created by an unknown third party.
Based on our research evidence, it is established that WhatsApp was founded in 2019 and from that time to present will mean the company should be celebrating its 12th anniversary contrary to what the viral link is claiming that the company is celebrating its10th anniversary. There are also no details or information published on the official website of WhatsApp that confirms that it is offering gifts to users. Therefore, we conclude that the link is misleading and might be a cover up by scammers and hackers to have access to users’ data and privacy as shown in the past and warned by many IT experts.
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