If you click on a WhatsApp Gold message link, urging you to download an update for the insta-messaging mobile application, then you are set to compromise your personal data safety. That’s because many experts have said that the WhatsApp Gold message in reality is a malware and users ought to immediately delete the message instead of falling prey to this ‘dangerous malware.’
A warning message is also doing the rounds informing users to beware of the malware. It reads, “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.” The message further goes on to add, “If you receive a message to update the WhatsApp to WhatsApp Gold, do not click !!!!!”
Venkat Krishnapur, Vice President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India, was quoted as saying, “A video will be launched tomorrow in Whatsapp called Martinelli. DO NOT OPEN it. Its a virus which goes into your phone and nothing will fix it. Do not update to Whatsapp Gold the virus is serious.”
The WhatsApp Gold virus had first made headlines in 2016.
Krishnapur said that since WhatsApp had a user base of over 20 crore in India, there’s a high possibility that the maximum impact being borne by Indian users, resulting in huge volumes of personal data being compromised.”
However, an Australian fact-checking website Snopes has termed the sinister video fictitious adding that it never existed in the first place. The website wrote, “Given that there apparently isn’t any ‘Martinelli’ video, WhatsApp users are safe from it.”
In the event that you indeed receive a link from ‘WhatsApp Gold,’ the most sensible action would to simply delete the message and not click on the link.