Internet service providers have warned that using WhatsApp offline can expose subscribers to hacking and malicious viruses.
This was contained in a message by Airtel Nigeria, which advised Nigerians, especially subscribers on its network, to be vigilant in accepting certain messages.
It said on Tuesday in Lagos that there had been messages in circulation which tend to show that a subscriber could make use of WhatsApp without access to the internet.
“Dear customer, our attention has been drawn to messages notifying customers of the use of WhatsApp without internet.
“Kindly ignore and do not click on those links, as it redirects to cloned applications.
“The links may be used to harvest sensitive information from your device. Be cautious,” Airtel said in a text message to its customers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that since the beginning of 2017, the message has been circulating, while many may have fallen victims.
The hackers’ message usually reads, “First, you need to update your WhatsApp iOS to the latest WhatsApp version 2.17.1.
“Now, this allows sending the message to any contact in your list without having internet connection.
“This feature was available on Android for more than a year, but iOS users are only getting it now.
“Also, you will be getting an option to send 30 photos or videos at a time if you update your WhatsApp.”
The message has been certified to be a hoax, and should be disregarded.