Now free for all, there's no excuse to fall for the latest WhatsApp hoax: WhatsApp is not ending at 6pm. Here are some of the WhatsApp scams you should delete and forget. You might also like: How to use Peach, the new Facebook rival that everyone is talking about

Whatsapp is not ending at 6pm

The latest WhatsApp scam to catch our attention goes as follows:

"tomorrow at 6 pm they are ending WhatsApp and you have to pay to open it, this is by law
This message is to inform all of our users, our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking you to help us solve this problem. We require our active users to forward this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp will then start to charge you. Your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts. Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp ) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or whatsapp will no longer recognise your activation.
If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill.
We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team”
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 blue"

This is absolutely not true, and under no circumstances should you fall for it. If you're still not convinced, just think about it: you are sending a message to everyone on your contact list to help solve congestion? WhatsApp is also based on phone numbers, not user names. We could go on...

WhatsApp Gold - WhatsApp Premium is a con

The latest WhatsApp hoax doing the rounds is an exclusive invitation to upgrade to a premium version of the app, called WhatsApp Gold. It's complete and utter rubbish: there is no WhatsApp Gold. 

"The invitation reads: "Hey Finally Secret Whatsapp golden version has been leaked, This version is used only by big celebrities. Now we can use it too."

It claims to allow you to delete messages after you've sent them, and simultanously send 100 pictures, among other things. It sounds great, but it's entirely made up. Click on the link in the invitation and you're more likely to end up with a malware infection. (See how to remove a virus from Android if you've already done so.)

WhatsApp virus - how to avoid WhatsApp virus

The latest WhatsApp scam isn't delivered by WhatsApp itself but through your email app on your Android phone or iPhone. It tells you that you have missed a WhatsApp call or have a WhatsApp voice message, which you should click on the link in the email to access. Rather than your message, you get a virus downloaded to your device.

Please don't be fooled. WhatsApp will never contact you outside the WhatsApp app itself, so if you see this then do not click the link and delete the message.

WhatsApp chain message hoaxes - Is WhatsApp closing down?

One WhatsApp hoax that regularly does the rounds is that which asks you to forward the message to 10 people or the service will close down.

WhatsApp has millions of users, and it really won't notice you sending 10 messages through the service. It is not about to close down, and this is very much a hoax. Also see: WhatsApp ban: what you should know

Another variation suggests there are too many WhatsApp users, and it will close your account if you don't start using it.

The chain message reads: Message from Jim Balsamic (CEO of Whatsapp). We have had an over usage of user names on WhatsApp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list.

"If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or WhatsApp will no longer recognise your activation."

If you don't act in time, WhatsApp will apparently charge you £25 to reactivate your account, which will be added to your phone bill.

Except it won't, because WhatsApp is now a free service. As it says on its official blog: "WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we've asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we've grown, we've found that this approach hasn't worked well. Many WhatsApp users don't have a debit or credit card number and they worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service."

WhatsApp chain message hoaxes - Is WhatsApp going to start charging inactive users?

By far the most popular WhatsApp hoax is that which suggests the service will start charging inactive users a certain amount per message, so by sending the message on to 10 users they can prove they are an active member and loyal to WhatsApp, and therefore deserving of its free service.

Really? Ask yourself how sending that message you don't pay for to 10 people could possibly keep open the company if it was that desperate for cash? If it were skint, it wouldn't have decided to ditch its subscription fees.

One variation of this message claims to come from the app’s founder, “David D. Suretech”. Never mind that Brian Acton and Jan Koum are the actual founders of WhatsApp.

It reads: ”Hello, I. Am DAVID D. SURETECH founder of Whatsapp. this message is to inform all of our users that we have only 53million accounts available for new phones. Our servers have recently been very congested, so we asking for your help to solve this problem. We need our active users to forward this message to every single person in their contact list in order to confirm our active users that use WhatsApp. If you do not send this message to all your contacts to WhatsApp, then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts. The automatic update symbol on your SmartPhone Will appear with the transmission of this message. Your smartphone will be updated within 24 hours, and will feature a new design; a new color for the chat and the icon will change from green to azul. Whatsapp will begin to charge unless you are a frequent user. If you have at least 10 contacts send this sms and the logo will become red on your platform to indicate that you are an active user. Tomorrow, we wil begin to take messages for whatsapp for 0.37 cents. Forward this message to more than 9 people in your contact list and the what's app logo on your will turn blue meaning that you have Become a free user for life.”

And here's yet another ridiculous variation of the WhatsApp chain message hoax:

WhatsApp charging hoax 2014

WhatsApp's response to all such scams is as follows: “Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it.”

Read next: What are the two blue ticks in WhatsApp? WhatsApp read message update explained.

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