Updated: January 8, 2019 6:28:41 pm
WhatsApp Gold for just premium users? Well that’s a hoax message, which tricks users into downloading a virus, and is circulating once again. The message claims a video will come out tomorrow called “Martinelli”, which will hack your phone.
It reads: “If you know anyone using WhatsApp you might pass on this. An IT colleague has advised that a video comes out tomorrow from WhatsApp called martinelli do not open it, it hacks your phone and nothing will fix it. Spread the word.”
It adds: “If you receive a message to update the Whatsapp to Whatsapp Gold, do not click !!!!! “Now said on the news this virus is difficult and severe. Pass it on to all.”
The first part of the message mentions some “Martinelli” video, the second message warns users about the “WhatsApp Gold” scam message – which is a sure shot scam. There have been different variations of the “WhatsApp Gold” message in circulation since 2016.
Several users have reportedly received an exclusive invitation to install a “limited “edition version of the messaging app. The so-called exclusive version of WhatsApp claims to offer the ability to have video chats, send 100 pictures at once, and delete messages after they have been sent.
The message invites users to click a link to download the upgrade, which then directs them to a website that is full of malicious software. The WhatsApp Gold hoax first circulated in 2016.
— Richard Gough (@richardgough1) January 5, 2019
There is a video that will be launched tomorrow in Whatsapp and is called Martinelli, Do not open it as it Goes into your phone and nothing you do will fix it. Spread the word and If you receive a message to update Whatsapp Gold * this is also a virus #WhatsApp
— Martyn Hopkins (@Hoppy79) January 3, 2019
In case you receive the message, it is advised you to do not click to sign up for the promised upgrade. Instead, delete the message as soon as you receive. Remember that there’s only one version of WhatsApp which is already installed on your phone. One also needs to remember that updates are usually done automatically through the app itself.
McAfee, the cybersecurity company, has responded to the WhatsApp Gold hoax controversy by issuing an advisory.
*It is important to read other users’ reviews to see if the app is safe and does what it claims to do.
*Be extra wary of “free apps” distributed through little known sites, or via links sent by email or text message.
*Ensure that you read the app permissions first so that it does not invade your privacy by accessing information it doesn’t need, like your contacts, camera, or keystrokes.
*Stick to using the official apps from the play stores and not use external applications from third party vendors.
*A comprehensive mobile security software can help guard against viruses, malware, device theft and other threats while understanding how your apps are using your personal information
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