This morning my friend sent out a group message to her friends, which includes me, via Viber. I swear I didn’t have to read the whole message to know it was not truthful and that it was similar to those scam messages which I received from a Malaysian friend on my WhatsApp contacts list in November 2012.
The following is the complete Viber message:
“Message from Joe Balsamic (CEO of Viber) We had an over usage of user names on Viber free calls and texts. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message,we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or viber will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to reactivate your account after it has been deleted,a charge of€25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the viber team” viber is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user ie you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (sent and then delivered)”
If you compare it to the WhatsApp screenshots above, you’ll notice it was woven from the same template, replete with similar keywords. Although I must admit the Viber scam message version is more polished than its WhatsApp counterpart. No one wants to get a headache reading the full version in text so I thought the screenshots would suffice for a quick browse-through.
If there is any actual person in the world named Jim Balsamic, I pity him. As I have read online, his name has been connected to the CEO reference not only twice, his name has also been name-dropped as CEO for BlackBerry creator, Research In Motion (RIM). The poor guy.
Of course I didn’t forward the scam message to my Viber contacts. Whoever originated the idea of that scam message must have already had his share of laughs.