WhatsApp Suspends More Than 7.4 Million Indian Accounts in August; Learn How to Identify and Report Online Scams


In August 2023, WhatsApp Suspended Over 7.4 Million Indian Accounts in Accordance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

In its efforts to maintain platform integrity, WhatsApp took action against more than 7.4 million Indian users in August 2023. This action was in compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. WhatsApp’s monthly report, as per the guidelines, discloses the actions taken by the platform in response to Indian users’ complaints, account violations within India, and orders from the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC), encompassing issues such as user grievances, legal violations, and regulatory compliance.

According to the report, between August 1 and 31, WhatsApp banned a total of 7,420,748 Indian accounts. Of these, the platform proactively banned 3,506,905 Indian accounts without waiting for user reports. This proactive approach aimed to enforce platform rules and policies by identifying potentially rule-violating accounts, thereby ensuring the safety and integrity of the platform, not solely relying on user-reported violations.

Additionally, the platform received 14,767 grievance reports, resulting in actions taken against 17 accounts. WhatsApp also outlined its strategy for handling abuse and spam, considering user complaints and proactively preventing harmful behavior on the platform. The platform employs a three-stage approach in an account’s life cycle: registration, messaging, and response to negative feedback. This includes evaluating complex or unusual cases through both human and automated systems, allowing WhatsApp to effectively counter abusive behavior.

A spokesperson from WhatsApp stated, “We are an industry leader among end-to-end encrypted messaging services in preventing and combating abuse. In addition to our safety features and controls, we employ a team of engineers, data scientists, analysts, researchers, and experts in law enforcement, online safety, and technology developments to oversee these efforts. We enable users to block contacts and to report problematic content and contacts to us from inside the app. We pay close attention to user feedback and engage with specialists in stemming misinformation, promoting cybersecurity, and preserving election integrity.”

While WhatsApp continues its efforts to block and take action against harmful accounts, it encourages users to be vigilant and proactive in identifying spam and reporting suspicious users. To combat scams, here are some tips to help users spot and report fraudulent activity on WhatsApp:

How to Identify Scam Accounts on WhatsApp

  • Fake Job Offers: Be cautious of enticing job opportunities that promise money upfront, as scammers often use such offers to gain victims’ trust and then disappear with their money or personal information.
  • Suspicious Giveaways: Be wary of forwarded messages promising rewards, such as the chance to win an iPhone 15 in exchange for sharing the message and email IDs. These are often used to collect personal data, so exercise caution.
  • Suspicious Apps: Scammers may modify bank app files with malicious code and ask victims to install them for “support,” tricking them into sharing sensitive banking information. Avoid installing apps from unverified sources.
  • Overseas Calls: Ignore and block calls from unknown overseas numbers. WhatsApp has measures to address these calls, but it’s best not to respond.
  • Avoid Clicking Random Links: Hackers may send infected links leading to phishing websites or malware. Be cautious when strangers send you links or urge you to act urgently. Enable two-factor authentication and refrain from sharing personal information with strangers to stay safe from WhatsApp scams.

How to Report an Account on WhatsApp

  • Open the chat with the account you want to report.
  • Tap the person’s name at the top of the chat.
  • Tap “Report.
  • Select the reason for reporting the account.
  • Tap “Send.

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