WhatsApp Congested, Charging 37 Cents Hoax: ‘Hello I Am David D. Suretech Founder of WhatsApp’ Message is Fake

February 24, 2014 Updated: February 24, 2014

WhatsApp is not “congested,” but a fake viral message from “David D. Suretech” or just “riya,” the “founder of WhatsApp,” is claiming otherwise. The hoax message says that the service is “congested” and that only a few accounts remain.

WhatsApp was not founded by “David D. Suretech.” The popular service was actually founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum.

“Hello, I. Am DAVID D. SURETECH founder of Whatsapp. this message is to inform all of our users that we have only 53million accounts available for new phones. Our servers have recently been very congested, so we asking for your help to solve this problem,” the fake message reads and has been spreading quickly over the past few days. A variant of the message claims that it will start charging 37 cents ($0.37) per message if you’re an “inactive user.”

It’s just a hoax, and WhatsApp has confirmed as much. 

Earlier this year in January, the same bunk message was being spread via WhatsApp and Facebook. It appears that with the recent Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp, the fake message’s spreading began again.

The message continues: “We need our active users to forward this message to every single person in their contact list in order to confirm our active users that use WhatsApp. If you do not send this message to all your contacts to WhatsApp, then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all your contacts.”

By forwarding the message, it ensures that the fake message is spread far and wide.

WhatsApp has issued statements saying it doesn’t have limited capacity.

“Please understand that this is a hoax and there is no truth to it,” the company said in January.

Another similar scam message reads as follows, “Hello, I. Am riya director of whatsapp, this message is to inform all of our users that we have only 530 accounts available for new phones, and that our servers have recently been very congested, so we asking for your help to solve this problem.”

Another WhatsApp-related message being spread on Facebook claims the service is charging an extra $5, and it could spread malware or lead to other scams.

“Pay 5 dollar (sic) to keep using WhatsApp,” one of the scam posts reads. There’s no truth to it, and it’s been around for years.

According to the company’s website, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After that, it costs $0.99 per each subsequent year.

In a blog post on Wednesday, WhatsApp elaborated on the recent Facebook deal.

“Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing,” it reads.

“WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.”