WhatsApp is used by billions of people every day, and with that comes the pressing issue of spam in your inbox. Unsolicited messaging from businesses or unknown numbers is always annoying, but it becomes a bigger problem when scammers use WhatsApp to target unsuspecting users. While WhatsApp has taken a few steps in this regard, it is now planning to make its warnings more prominent to safeguard its users from being targeted.
When you receive a message from an unsaved contact or a brand for the first time, WhatsApp already gives you the option to either block or report them. These options appear within the chat body, making them easy to miss, especially when you’ve received a long text, as is often the case with promotional messages. The new warning page that WhatsApp is testing is much more prominent, according to WABetaInfo.
Meta’s messaging app is testing a new overlay screen that pops up when you receive a message from an unknown number. This Safety tools window appears on top of the chat window to show you the two existing ways of handling spam on WhatsApp — reporting and blocking — along with brief explanations on how each option works.
Right below that, you will find a couple of suggestions for things you should look out for in such a case. WhatsApp recommends double-checking the country code to ensure you recognize it, as scammers often use phone numbers from other countries to carry out fraud. It further suggests verifying the profile name and photo of the sender to ensure you know who is messaging you because WhatsApp doesn’t validate these details, even for businesses.
If you decide to block or report them to WhatsApp, the sender won’t be notified in any way. This report states that WhatsApp now won’t even show read receipts to the sender (even if you’ve turned them on) unless you get back to them.
WhatsApp is testing this new warning screen with a handful of beta testers, so you can try your luck by downloading the update from the Play Store or heading to APKMirror. Right now, there is no word on when this feature will make it to the stable release, so in the meantime, you can use other available ways to handle WhatsApp spam.