WhatsApp issues scam warning to millions of users: ‘This is important’ | Tech News

WhatsApp could be at risk of scams and spams, say experts (Credits: Getty Images)

WhatsApp users have been warned that changes to the hugely popular messaging service could increase the risk of scams and spam.

Last month the messaging service, which is owned by Meta, revealed it will soon allow third-party messaging.

This means a WhatsApp user could, for example, message someone on FacebookMessenger or Google Messages and vice versa.

The shakeup is a result of new laws set out by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) that require all messaging services to allow third party messaging.

The new rules will also apply to all messaging services, including iMessage, Telegram and Signal.

WABetaInfo – a website all about WhatsApp beta, which allows users to test new unreleased features – has warned users that ‘spam and scams may be more common on third-party chats’.

Dick Brouwer, engineering director at WhatsApp, also spoke of these risks in an interview with Wired last month.

You have to opt-in to the new third-party service (Picture: Getty Images/Cavan Images RF)

‘There’s real tension between offering an easy way to offer this interoperability to third parties whilst at the same time preserving the WhatsApp privacy, security, and integrity bar,’ he said.

However, users will have to opt in to make their messaging service interoperable, which means they can protect themselves against risk keeping their setting the same.

Mr Brower said: ‘I can choose whether or not I want to participate in being open to exchanging messages with third parties.

‘This is important, because it could be a big source of spam and scams.’

WhatsApp users who have opted into the new service will see non-native messages in a separate inbox (Picture: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

DMA is bringing in the new laws because Meta – which also owns Facebook and Instagram – is considered a ‘digital gatekeeper’ and the body wants to promote competition between the different digital services.

WhatsApp users who opt-in to third party messaging will see a separate ‘third-party chats’ inbox at the top of their Chats menu where messages from other apps will appear.

Mr Brouwer said the separate inbox is due to WhatsApp not being able to promise the same level of security and privacy its internal messaging service offers.

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