WhatsApp ‘Martinelli’ hoax is circulating again – what to do if you receive it

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WhatsApp users are being warned a well known hoax, the Martinelli scam, has returned.

The hoax has been going around since 2017, but has returned this week, according to fact checking site, Full Fact.

Full Fact explained: “A viral post on Facebook claims that WhatsApp is releasing a video called “Martinelli” which, when opened, will hack your phone.

“It also warns that messages encouraging users to upgrade to ‘Whatsapp Gold’ should be ignored.”

While the Facebook post claims that the video will be released this week, no evidence of the video has come to light yet.

Howver, WhatsApp Gold scams are very much real.

Full Fact said: “WhatsApp Gold scams are a real thing. You should not open any links for WhatsApp Gold services and report these messages to Action Fraud, the national cybercrime reporting centre.

“The other video viruses mentioned in the post are not real, and variants of these hoaxes have been going viral for years.”

If you do receive a video or message attachment from an unknown source, do not open it.

With over two billion users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps around the world.

On its FAQ page, WhatsApp explained: “We always advise you to block the sender, disregard the message and delete it.

“To avoid exposing your contacts to potential harm, please never forward these messages to them.”

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