Here’s a WhatsApp chain letter that’s been making the rounds:

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

Back in 2016, scammers were distributing messages claiming that WhatsApp users could install an update called WhatsApp Gold.  Supposedly, the update allowed users to access enhanced features for the app. However, clicking the WhatsApp Gold link opened a fraudulent website designed to trick Android phone users into downloading malware.

Valid warnings about the threat began circulating via WhatsApp and social media websites.

Then, in 2017, a  message began circulating that claimed that opening a video on WhatsApp called Martinelli would install a virus that would destroy your phone

In fact, “Martinelli” is just one of many silly hoaxes that have plagued WhatsApp users in recent years. Some, like the Martinelli version, warn about non-existent viruses or security threats. Other hoaxes claim that WhatsApp will close down or start charging a fee if users do not share a message.

Nevertheless, WhatsApp users should always be wary of fake notifications promising app upgrades or extra features.  These are scams designed to steal personal information or distribute malware.

The WhatsApp Gold threat was just one of these attacks. In the years since scammers distributed the fake WhatsApp Gold messages, there have been many similar attacks. The fake messages try to trick users into clicking links by claiming that they can get app enhancements, “special” upgrades, or other supposed benefits.

If you see one of these fake update messages, do not click on it.

Mobile malware protection advice

  • Always make sure you have the latest version of software and antivirus installed for increased protection.
  • Be careful when downloading new apps as rogue ones can appear in legitimate app stores as well as unofficial online stores.
  • Always check reviews and ratings as well as developer information before downloading a new app.
  • If your battery suddenly starts draining really fast, consider that it might be a malware problem.
  • Make sure to check your phone bill online periodically – more often than once a month, that way you can keep tabs on any suspicious activity.