It seems like barely a day passes without a viral message seeming to materialise out of nothing and suddenly finding its way into one or more of your inboxes.
Often they’re complete nonsense, like warnings Facebook is about to start charging you unless you share the message with five friends.
They’re essentially updated versions of chain letters, and you’re usually safe ignoring them. However, there’s a new one doing the rounds which – while its main message seems to be a hoax – still has some value.
You’ll likely get the message on WhatsApp from a concerned friend or family member (let’s face it, it’s always a family member) and it mentions a seemingly non-existent ‘Martinelli’ video.
According to The Independent, the message reads as follows:
“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.”
The wording may vary slightly, but the two components – ‘martinelli’ and ‘Whatsapp Gold’ (sic) – are said to remain consistent.
So, first things first, this ‘Martinelli’ video doesn’t appear to exist, and besides, users are likely to be at greater danger from a link to a video rather than a video sent directly.
Which brings us on to the second part of the message, relating to WhatsApp Gold.
This actually is a scam – in the sense that no such product or upgrade exists – and a link purporting to direct you to it will be a hoax, and one which could potentially be damaging to your device.
All this means while the message itself might relate to things which don’t exist, it’s still worth reading to ensure you’re forewarned about an actual issue.
Well we say that, but we’ve just relaid the warning here - so you can probably just ignore and delete it now that you’ve got all the relevant information (no need to thank us, but you can if you like).