Late last year, a scam targeted users of WhatsApp called “Whatsapp Gold” was simply a way of extracting phone numbers and potentially charging phone owners “up to $51” on their bills.

Someone has decided to bring this one back with a twist – and by “twist”, I mean “add a random word in the old name and hope for the best”.

Are you ready for WhatsApp Elegant Gold?

The answer, of course, is “Hahaha make it stop” but let’s take a look anyway. The URL in question is

whatsappforfree(dot)com

and it is flagged as a phishing domain in Firefox:

Site blocked

The URL promotes WhatsApp Elegant Gold against a background wallpaper reminiscent of William Morris, except with added ice creams and asteroids.

Whatsapp Elegant Gold

It reads as follows:

WhatsApp Elegant Gold Activation

FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS BELOW!
Step 1: Enter your WhatsApp Mobile Number!
Step 2: Click on I AGREE! CONTINUE!

There are three “reviews”, too:

This Elegant Gold Theme is Awesome!

Amazing User Interface. Just Love it.

This looks soo elegant, I'm never switching back ever.

Hooray! Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any indication of what you’re actually agreeing to should you hit the Continue button.

The site asks for your “WhatsApp number”, though in practice you can enter any old nonsense and it’ll still let you through. After the number (or random gibberish) has been entered, you get one of those slowly moving bars with lots of text underneath claiming technical things are happening behind the scenes.

Updating...

Eventually, this is what happens:

Almost done

Almost Done

Click the below button to prove that you an an active Whatsapp user

Anti-bot protection

Anti-Bot Protection

Complete 2 steps from below to prove you're active Whatsapp user!

Step 1 - Invite your Whatsapp friends and 3 groups

Final Step - Click below for human verification

That’s a whole lot of verifying.

Hitting the Invite button will attempt to send the following message in Whatsapp:

Whatsapp message

The message says:

Hey, I am inviting you to activate (?) Elegant WhatsApp Gold. Click here to activate -->[url]

We’ve seen this before, back in March – as with the last example, you can make them think 10 people have been sent the message by simply opening new tabs.

Once the website thinks 10 people and 3 groups have been sent the message, the Human Verification button becomes clickable. It leads to a survey page, though we visited from many different geographical locations and couldn’t get a survey to pop:

Survey page

Sorry, there are no offers in your region at this time

Either they’re aiming this at a very specific location which we haven’t pretended to be in yet, or the surveys have been disabled. Even without that, anybody attempting to use this has already handed over a mobile number with no real idea what will happen at the other end.

Given the similarities between this and older Whatsapp Gold websites, that could prove costly depending on whether or not this site signs visitors up to premium SMS services.

We advise fans of WhatsApp to stick to the vanilla version and forgo a splash of elegance, or you might end up finding yourself a little bit Derelicte.

Christopher Boyd (Thanks to Jovi for finding this)