WHATSAPP, the popular messaging platform that has over 1.5 billion daily users, has been a breeding ground for misinformation since inception. Whatsapp has continued to be a social media tool used in Spreading fake news and malicious links through the platform. In the last few years, most Whatsapp users must have come across hundreds of hoax messages being forwarded in private group chats attached with specific instructions.
2016 saw the beginning of the “Whatsapp Gold” virus. Users were tricked into downloading a virus under the pretense of getting a safe and an advance Whatsapp upgrade. The message which claimed that there was a secret Whatsapp golden version meant for celebrities had been leaked. The message which was widely shared across, turned out to be a malware that that was infecting unsuspecting Whatsapp users. The earlier version of the texts reads as below.
“Warning from An Garda. An IT expert 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”
“Tomorrow comes a video for Whatsapp is called Martinelli do not open it hacks the phone in 10 seconds and you cannot stop in any way pass the data to yours and friends”
In the past week several reports have emerged in regards to the infamous Whatsapp Gold message doing round on Whatsapp. Unknown scammers are basically sending a link with the message to the Whatsapp users and asking them to download Whatsapp Gold as an upgrade to the official Whatsapp.
“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 it.
Now said on the news this virus is difficult and severe
pass it on to all”
As noted, Whatsapp Gold is a hoax message which users are spreading like wildfire. The WhatsApp Gold message is being set up by a group of unknown scammers to fool users and make them download malwares unknowingly.
What Should You Do when You get such Messages?
- First stop forwarding them to your friends and family and avoid spreading them even further to other people. If you get such a message that promises to give you a reward or an update and also comes with a link, simply ignore and delete them.
- Always install latest Whatsapp app updates from official app stores
- Install mobile antivirus that are able to effectively detect malware in real time
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