WhatsApp Block Button Scam : What You Need To Know!

Will clicking on the WhatsApp block button install a malicious app that will hack your phone?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : WhatsApp Block Button Is A Scam!

People are sharing this advice on a new WhatsApp scam involving the Block button in messages. Take a look!

New Type of Scam in Whatsapp.

Don’t press the “Block” button within the message because when you press on it then, you are effectively downloading this Malicious App. Instead go to WhatsApp setting (3 dots on the right hand top) and block the message.

Do the same if you received this kind of message in your SMS. Someone already got scammed by this fake template.

Whatsapp 中的新型诈骗。
不要按消息中的“阻止”按钮,因为当您按下该按钮时,您实际上是在下载此恶意应用程序,而是转到 WhatsApp 设置(右上角的 3 个点)并阻止该消息。
如果您在短信中收到此类消息,请执行相同的操作。

New Type of Scam in Whatsapp. Don’t press the “Block” button within the message because when you press on it then, you are effectively downloading this Malicious App. Instead go to WhatsApp setting (3 dots on the right hand top) and block the message. Do the same if you received this kind of message in your SMS. Someone already got scammed by this fake template.

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Truth : WhatsApp Block Button Is New Feature!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms, and here are reasons why…

Fact #1 : No Evidence Of WhatsApp Block Button Scam

First, let me just point out that there is no evidence that anyone was scammed by the WhatsApp block button in messages.

Even if an enterprising hacker / scammer was able to create a message with a fake block button that downloads an APK (Android Package Kit) file, it won’t automatically install that file. You will need to manually install the APK file from the Downloads folder.

Those who know how to do that would be tech-savvy enough to avoid installing APK files from unknown sources. Those who don’t know how to do that would not be able to install the downloaded APK file.

Fact #2 : WhatsApp Block Button Is Part Of New Safety Tools

The truth is – the Block button that you may see in new messages from strangers is not a scam. It also does not download or install any APK file.

The Block button is actually part of the new Safety Tools feature that WhatsApp started introducing in July 2023.

The Safety Tools feature will only appear when you receive a message from an unknown number. You will be given some details about the safety of this new contact – whether you are in common groups, and in some cases – the country of origin.

You are given the option of either blocking this new contact, or adding it to your Contact list. You can also click on the Safety tools link for more details.

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Fact #3 : Older Blocking Method Still Exists

The new WhatsApp Safety Tools offer an easy way to quickly block and remove obvious spammers and scammers. However, it may not be readily apparent whether the new contact is genuine, or just a spammer / scammer.

If you start messaging with this new contact – to find out if their identity / purpose, the Safety Tools option will disappear. But don’t worry – you can still block this new contact if you realise that he/she is a spammer / scammer.

  1. Go to the messaging screen for the person you want to block.
  2. Tap on the kebab menu / vertical ellipsis (⋮) icon on the upper right corner.
  3. Select More > Block.
    You can also select More > Report (to report block the scammer)

Alternatively, you can block multiple contacts using this method:

  1. Open WhatsApp, and go to the Chats screen.
  2. Tap on the kebab menu / vertical ellipsis (⋮) icon on the upper right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Tap on the Privacy option.
  5. Scroll down and tap on Blocked contacts.
  6. Tap on the Add Contacts () icon at the upper right corner.
  7. Search for the contacts you want to remove, and select them.

Now, blocking people does not remove your contact details or profile photo from their phones and devices.

However, they will no longer be able to call you, or send you messages. They will also not be able to see changes to your status updates including when you’re online / last seen, or changes you make to your profile photo.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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