We are hearing more and more complaints from Viber users that they are getting a lot of spam on Viber. Some of these messages are mere annoyances, but a lot of them are dangerous. Phishing messages trying to get personal data, credit card numbers, or even attempts to install malware on devices have all been reported, and a lot of Viber users are worried about the safety of the application.
We would like to address some of the most common questions Viber users are asking about spam so that hopefully we can help you enjoy your Viber experience and receive less annoying messages that you don’t want.
1. Why am I getting a lot of spam?
Viber allows for free messages between Viber users who have the app installed on their mobile device. Because it is connected to one phone number, users theoretically have only one or a limited number of accounts, and those accounts are connected to a mobile phone. This means that Viber is a convenient messaging platform—but it also makes it very valuable for spammers. Therefore, they are eager to send spam to Viber users.
However, you can block the spammers and Viber is working hard to make it harder for spammers to send you annoying messages.
2. Is this spam controlled by Viber?
No. Because of the free and easy-to-use nature of Viber, it is easy to get an account for everyone—including criminals. This is the downside of an open service, and something that the Viber team is working hard to fight. However, it is difficult to make the app less open to spammers and still easy to use for real users, so it may take some time for the team to cut down on spam. They are working on it, though, and you can help (read question 5 below for more details).
3. Will other messaging apps get spam?
Yes. All messaging apps get spam, but some get more spam than others.
4. Does Viber get more spam than WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, and Facebook Messenger?
There is no way to know for certain but, yes, it is possible that Viber gets more spam than many other messaging applications. This is partly because of where Viber users are. The app is popular in many countries where phishing operators are based, and so they will use Viber in their phishing activities. Additionally, since your Viber account is connected to your mobile phone number, some phishers will focus their attention on Viber because they know it is connected to a mobile phone and they hope to get the user to use their phone when interacting with the phisher.
This doesn’t mean other services are safter. WhatsApp and WeChat operates with a similar cell phone connection, and can get a lot of spam for the same reason. Spam may be less common on Facebook and Skype because those accounts aren’t connected to one cell phone number.
5. How can I stop getting spam on Viber?
This is the big question. First, we have instructions on how to block spam on Viber. Secondly, you can report spam to Viber directly on this page. Finally, and most crucially, you should ignore all spam on Viber. If anyone sends you a spam message, do not reply! Ignore it completely.
We hope that a future version of Viber will include an ability to report spam directly in the app. For now blocking the offenders is the best thing you can do.