News, Technology, UAE

UAE residents: Here’s all you need to know about the latest WhatsApp hoax

A dodgy chain-mail scam is said to be doing the rounds on WhatsApp once again, becoming the latest in a long line of attempts by cyber-savvy tricksters to hack users of the instant messaging app.

The message being circulated highlights a malicious video, dubbed ‘Martinelli’, that will reportedly hack phones beyond repair.

It reads, “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. If you receive a message to update the WhatsApp to WhatsApp Gold, do not click!!”

Earlier this year, the Spanish police force confirmed on Twitter that there is no such thing as a “Martenelli” video. In a tweet, they quoted Spanish-based tech website Computer Hoy in claiming that Martinelli is “bulo”, which translates to “canard”, or an unfounded rumour, in English.

The “WhatsApp Gold” reference in the scam message refers to a fake version of the app, which was touted as an invitation-only download back in 2016. At the time, users were enticed with the promise of new features, such as the ability to send 100 pictures at once.

This is the latest in a long line of reported scams via the instant messaging app. Sharjah Police has affirmed just this week that any UAE residents that have received WhatsApp messages from friends, acquaintances or relatives, asking for cash, must ignore them as they are fake.

The force has warned UAE residents against acting on the messages in an Instagram post, where they affirm the messages are being sent out by cyber criminals after gaining access to a friends’ contact lists.

Residents who receive such types of fake messages are urged to contact Sharjah Police on 06 5943228 or via email to

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


The free newsletter covering the top industry headlines