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Beware! WhatsApp Gold feature is a hoax

WhatsApp is one of the most popular social messaging apps in the world. Its popularity has not only fattened its user base but also attracted malicious actors to use its platform for spreading misinformation and malware. And now, the app is being used to spread a hoax about WhatsApp Gold feature, again.

Back in 2016, a common message circulating on the social messaging platform encouraged WhatsApp to download WhatsApp Gold via an the accompanying link promising them access to lucrative features like video calling and ability to send 100 images at a time. However, the message was hoax and it was being used by the scammers for duping innocent users to download malware on their smartphones. And now, nearly two years later, the hoax is back.

The new message doing rounds on the app this time states: “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.”

Notably, the message talks about a video called “Martinelli”. But, in reality the video does not exist. The message is being used by the tricksters for spreading panic and fear among innocent users about the malware that duped users back in 2016.

TechBuzz Ireland (@techbuzzinfo) January 2, 2019
Meanwhile, WhatsApp, in a statement to the Evening Standard had previously confirmed that the WhatsApp Gold message was indeed a hoax and that the company has no relationship with WhatsApp Plus.

If you have received such messages in the past and you are unsure what it means here’s a word that might provide some clarity on the matter: WhatsApp provides all apps to its Android and iOS users via the Google Play Store and App Store. The Facebook-owned company does not provide feature updates to the app via third-party links. Additionally, in the recent time, the company has also added a new feature that helps users in determining if a message has been forwarded. So, if you get a suspicious message that shows ‘forwarded’ on the top left corner of the message, you have sufficient grounds to doubt its authenticity.

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