The hoax, which went viral in 2016, is doing the rounds again.

WhatsApp Gold is back and once again it is a scam
news Hoax Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 11:31

The WhatsApp Gold message is back again, promising to give hidden premium features to the one who downloads it. Except, it’s obviously a hoax, and downloads malware onto your phone. The hoax, which went viral in 2016, is doing the rounds again.

In 2016, messages were sent to people’s phone, asking them to download the update. However, WhatsApp updates are through the app itself, and not through a message sent to them. In 2016, it hoax reportedly promised that it allows users to video chat, to send 100 pictures at the same time, and delete messages after hours. Obviously, there is nothing of the sort. And video calling has since become a reality on the messaging service.

The message doing the rounds presently is:

"Today the radio was talking about WhatsApp Gold and it is true. There is a video that will be released tomorrow on WhatsApp and is called Martinelli. Do not open it. Enter your phone and nothing you do will fix it. Spread the message if you know someone. If you receive a message to update Whatsapp Gold Do not open it! They just announced that the virus is serious. Send it to everyone.”

While nothing such as ‘Martinelli’ exists, the message is merely spreading fear, but doesn’t have any malware link attached to it.

WhatsApp has earlier confirmed that it has nothing to do with them. “Plus have no relationship with WhatsApp and we do not support WhatsApp Plus,” the company said, according to the Evening Standard.

However, many took to Twitter to warn others and share the same.

IT security company Sophos says, “it’s only half rubbish. It’s a cocktail of one shot of bogus and one shot of authentic “yikes!” — that the Martinelli video doesn’t exist, but WhatsApp Gold is certainly something to beware of.

This is not the first time WhatsApp has been prey to such a hoax. In India in 2016, a viral message did the rounds that there was a ‘Ministry of Internal Regulation’ which was recording and saving phone conversations and monitoring social networking platforms.

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