The more popular websites and apps become, the bigger targets they are for criminals. Which makes sense if you think about it.
Scamming victims is basically a numbers game. That's why cybercriminals go after users of sites like Facebook and Amazon.
This is happening right now and you really need to stay on top of what programs and apps are being targeted. The latest, a popular messaging app that is receiving malicious texts and could end up infecting your gadget with a virus.
Beware of this fake message
We're talking about the messaging app WhatsApp. A fake "security" message is circulating among the app's users that could lead to disaster.
The message speaks of a video dubbed "Martinelli" and warns that it could end up wiping your phone. Here's an example of the first part of the message:
"If you know anyone using WhatsApp you might pass this on. 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."
But here's the deal, there is no WhatsApp video called Martinelli coming out.
But wait...there's more
The message continues:
"If you receive a message to update the WhatsApp to WhatsApp Gold, do not click!!!!! This virus is severe, pass it on."
Now that part of the message is actually good advice. There is no such thing as WhatsApp Gold. This is a scam that made the rounds a couple years ago.
In 2016, a message spread to users claiming they had been selected as part of an exclusive group to install a "limited edition" version of WhatsApp, called WhatsApp Gold. Some even reported that the message claimed WhatsApp Gold had previously only been available for celebrities.
The only problem is that WhatsApp Gold doesn't exist. Scammers were able to trick people into clicking on a link. This led to a fake website loaded with malicious code. Users ended up with a virus.
If you use WhatsApp and see this devious message on your phone, the best thing you can do is delete it. Don't forget to share this article with friends and family so they can avoid falling for this scam too.
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A recent study had some disturbing results. It showed that over half of all apps that were part of the study are not protecting the safety and privacy of children.