WhatsApp users were this week treated to a message stating everyone in their contact listed was "error: unknown". Following this bug, a spam message did the rounds claiming to be from the CEO asking forward it on or be considered an inactive user.
The message read: "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."
A similar hoax on the app occurred in January this year attempting to convince users to use the service frequently to avoid paying.
WhatsApp said on Twitter: "WhatsApp status functionality is currently not available. We are working on resolving it soon-ish..."
There's been no update on the service from WhatsApp, but the message can be ignored. According to FirstPost, service for some phones has been restored while others are still displaying the error message.