In the digital age, misinformation can spread like wildfire, especially during times of crisis.
One such instance is the Moroccan Earthquake WhatsApp Scam, a hoax that gained traction following a devastating earthquake in Morocco on September 8, 2023.
This blog post aims to dissect the scam, debunk its claims, and provide insights into how such misinformation exploits real-world tragedies.
What Is Moroccan Earthquake WhatsApp Scam?
The Moroccan Earthquake WhatsApp Scam refers to a hoax that began circulating after a significant earthquake hit Morocco on September 8, 2023.
The scam involved a message that was widely shared on WhatsApp, urging people to share images related to the earthquake to raise awareness.
This message included the term “Seismic Waves Card.”
The scam took a misleading turn when a subsequent message warned users that they would receive a file named “Seismic Waves Card” that would hack their phones within ten seconds.
The message advised people to avoid accessing it, creating a sense of urgency and panic.
The Origin: A Real Tragedy
On September 8, 2023, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck Morocco, causing significant loss of life and property.
The earthquake’s aftermath was widely shared on social media platforms, drawing attention to the suffering of the people affected.
Amidst this, a message started circulating on WhatsApp, urging people to share images related to the earthquake to raise awareness.
The message included the term “Seismic Waves Card.”
The scam took a darker turn when a subsequent message warned that a file named “Seismic Waves Card” would hack users’ phones within ten seconds and that there was no way to stop it.
This message created a sense of urgency and panic, advising people to avoid accessing any such message.
The Reality: Debunking The Myth
Contrary to the hoax, the Seismic Waves Card is a legitimate technology used to map variations in the Earth’s crust.
It helps scientists identify high-risk earthquake areas.
Chinese authorities verified that images in WhatsApp messages do not have the capability to spread viruses.
The warning about the Seismic Waves Card virus was identified as a hoax.
The only way a user’s phone could be compromised is through links to malicious websites, not through images or files named “Seismic Waves Card.”
The Motive: Exploiting Fear
The identity of the person who initiated this hoax remains unknown.
However, it is suspected that the motive behind circulating such a message could be to divert attention from the real issues related to the Morocco earthquake or to create panic by exploiting a natural disaster.
In a world where information is at our fingertips, it’s crucial to verify the facts before sharing them.
The “Seismic Waves Card Scam” serves as a reminder that misinformation can easily exploit real tragedies for nefarious purposes.
Always fact-check information, especially when it comes to matters as serious as natural disasters.