A message encouraging users to download a fake update called WhatsApp Gold has been doing the rounds since 2016.
The latest message has sent users into a panic about what they should do if they receive the link.
WhatsApp previously confirmed that WhatsApp Gold was a hoax, stating that “Plus have no relationship with WhatsApp and we do not support WhatsApp Plus.”
WhatsApp Gold is a hoax set up by scammers to dupe users into thinking there is a secret update that giving them enhanced features of the messaging app.
Martinelli is only related to WhatsApp Gold in the sense that they were referenced in the same message.The scammers would send a link supposedly enabling people to download WhatsApp Gold, but in fact, meant users downloaded malware.
The message currently appearing on some users’ phones reads: “If you know anyone using WhatsApp you might pass on this. An IT colleague has advised that a video comes out from WhatsApp called martinelli do not open it, it hacks your phone and nothing will fix it. Spread the word.”
Martinelli created a similar panic to WhatsApp Gold in 2017, when a message began circulating about a video of the same name that would download a virus to your phone if it was opened.
It turned out no such video exists.
Why is the scare message circulating again?
WhatsApp Gold first hit headlines in 2016 when users started receiving messages about it.
The original version sent users a message reading: “Hey Finally Secret WhatsApp golden version has been leaked, This version is used only by big celebrities. Now we can use it too.”
Past hoaxes have included promises of free flights and messages designed to fool people into thinking their phone number was about to be changed.Since becoming a major source of mobile messaging, WhatsApp has had its fair share of virus scares.
In August 2018, security researchers at Checkpoint found vulnerabilities in WhatsApp that allowed hackers to intercept and edit someone’s messages in a group chat.
Any updates to WhatsApp will usually happen automatically through the app itself. Be wary of clicking on links embedded in messages that promise something extra.
Sourced from https://www.standard.co.uk