WhatsApp users urged to be wary over a new scam doing the rounds
A warning has been issued to WhatsApp users over a hoax that is doing the rounds.
The WhatsApp Gold scam message first began to spread in 2016, claiming to offer users a hidden version of the app that has a lot of extra features.
According to the hoax, it lets you hold video chats, send 100 pictures at once , new emojis and the ability to delete messages hours after they are sent.
Sounds great in theory, right?
The scam gives users a link that they can click through to download the alleged update, but it just takes them through to a website riddled with malware (aka: a virus that can be used to break into your phone and steal your information).
Now, WhatsApp users have begun to report they received a new version of the message.
The "warning" begins with a caution about a video named martinelli, claiming that it will come out tomorrow and hack your phone.
According to cyber security firm Sophos, the message says:
"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. 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 firm described the message as "half rubbish", labelling the martinelli video a "fictional threat".
"Given that there apparently isn’t any 'martinelli' video, WhatsApp users are safe from it.
"All they have to do is inform senders that they’ve been taken in by a chain letter, tell them to please stop forwarding it, and of course, refrain from forwarding it themselves."
However, the WhatsApp Gold is a well-known hoax - and you definitely should not click on anything within the message, if you receive one.
"'WhatsApp Gold' scam messages have, for at least two and a half years and via varyingly worded messages, claimed that the new 'premium service' would get users extra goodies, such as video calling and new emojis.
"Users who clicked on the link got no goodies. They got baddies, in the form of a non-WhatsApp website that told them to download malware nicknamed 'WhatsApp Gold'."
Basically: don't forward the message, don't click on anything in the message and make sure that you apply all security updates ASAP.