Snapchat has been hit by a weightloss scam

Users are being sent adverts for a dubious weight loss website – but the app itself hasn’t been hacked

If your friends on Snapchat are telling you to lose weight, it must just be a spam scam about which users around the world are complaining.

The app itself has not been hacked, the company told the BBC, but rather Snapchat accounts have been compromised and used to disseminate adverts for a weightloss website registered in the name of Poland’s former president Stanislaw Wojciechowski.

Snapchat said: “We have seen evidence that hackers who have access to a trove of credentials leaked from other websites, have started using them to gain access to Snapchat accounts.

“In many instances, our defences have notified the user that their account has been compromised. We recommend using a unique a complex password to access your Snapchat account.”

By the sounds of it, the hack is linked to the leak of millions of Snapchat users’ information in January of this year. On that occasion, the hackers from SnapchatDB said the leak was designed to prompt Snapchat to address its longstanding security issues.

They said: “We wanted to minimize spam and abuse that may arise from this release. Our main goal is to raise public awareness on how reckless many internet companies are with user information.

“It is a secondary goal for them, and that should not be the case. You wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant that spends millions on decoration, but barely anything on cleanliness.”

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This latest hack could also be connected to the release of over five million Gmail users’ info on a Russian Bitcoin forum earlier this month.

Despite the mounting scandals, the latest a lawsuit from girls whose picture was used to market the app at its beginning in 2011, and the fact that it has no actual revenue stream, Snapchat is rumoured to be valued at more than £6 billion – making it one of the biggest tech companies around.

The app is known for its self-destruct images and messages, although another app called Snapchat Hack allows users to store what they receive.