BENGALURU: If you are using WhatsApp, chances are that you have read a message that is being widely circulated, which warns of an invitation from a WhatsApp group purportedly created by ISIS.
WhatsApp users are in panic and are forwarding the warning message to their relatives and friends. The message reads, “There is a WhatsApp group called ‘Interschools’. If invited, don't join the group. It belongs to Daesh (ISIS). If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it. Be vigilant, please inform others. Send this to your relatives and children on WhatsApp so that they will also be careful. Forward it as received.”
But cyber experts said the message is a hoax and the group, Interschool, was not created by ISIS as claimed. “The message, first of all, does not make any sense. Why would a dreaded militant group want some random people as its WhatsApp group members? How would this benefit them? This is a fake message intended to create panic among people,” said a police officer from the Cyber Crime division, attached to the Bengaluru City Police.
“People should not believe any such message received on social media platforms, especially WhatsApp. They should also not blindly share them. We should check the credibility of such messages and always look for the source of information,” he said.
Though the origin of the message is not known, it is said that it started circulating in June 2017.
It is similar to a message that did the rounds previously. It read: There is a WhatsApp group called ‘Firdaus we ascend’.
If invited, don't join the group, it belongs to Daesh. If you join the group you will not be able to exit from it. Be vigilant, please inform others — send it to your relatives and children on WhatsApp so that they remain careful."
You can always leave a group
If you don't wish to continue in any WhatsApp group, you can always leave and nothing can stop you from doing it. According to WhatsApp's FAQ, "If you exit a group, you will be removed from the group but will still see it in your Chats list, and you will be able to read the chat history. When you delete the group, you will no longer see the group in your chats list and the chat history will be erased."