WhatsApp now identifies when you've been sent a scam message

7 August 2020, 13:02 | Updated: 7 August 2020, 14:55

If you're a WhatsApp user you should be aware of the new feature
If you're a WhatsApp user you should be aware of the new feature. Picture: PA
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

The brand new feature will come in handy and help those from identifying a scam or a fake news message/

Popular messaging app WhatsApp will now help you discover if you've been sent a viral hoax text.

The introduction is in a bid to tackle the growing problem of fake news that's spread on the app, which fools a lot of people daily.

On sites such as Twitter and Facebook it's quite easy to figure out which posts are fake news as they're public, the apps can figure it out and block the posts and people can comment to warn you or report them.

So many fake news stories have circulated on WhatsApp
So many fake news stories have circulated on WhatsApp. Picture: PA

However, its harder on WhatsApp as the messages are encrypted, making it impossible for the app makers to read your texts.

As a result of this, a lot of dangerous health advice, false celebrity rumours and other fake claims have been spreading through the app.

Now WhatsApp is adding a new feature that lets you quickly check suspicious forwarded texts.

A spokesperson for the app said: "We're piloting a simple way to double check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat.

"Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about content they have received.

"WhatsApp messages that have been forwarded multiple times have a special label.

"You'll see two arrows that show if you've received a text that wasn't written by a close contact."

The news will show up like this
The news will show up like this. Picture: WhatsApp
You'll be able to then see this
You'll be able to then see this. Picture: WhatsApp

They continued: "You can now double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass in the chat.

"That will let you quickly search these messages in a web browser, without WhatsApp actually seeing the message.

"So if a viral text is known to be a hoax, it should be immediately obvious.

"The new feature is rolling out starting today in the UK, USA, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico."