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HOAX — ‘Popcorn Carnival’ WhatsApp Hack Warning

by Brett M. Christensen

According to a message that is circulating via WhatsApp and social media, you should not open a video called  “Popcorn Carnival”. 

Supposedly, the video will hack your phone in seconds and there is nothing that you can do to stop it. The message asks that you forward the information to your contacts as soon as possible so that they will be aware of the threat as well.

However, the message is just another silly hacker hoax.  There are no credible reports about a threat like the one described.

It appears that the hoax message began circulating in Spanish and was later translated into English. Spain’s Policía Nacional have repeatedly denounced the warning as a hoax via its Twitter feed and has urged recipients not to spread the hoax further by sharing it.

The hoax message is just one among a long series of silly hacker hoaxes that have circulated for years. A similar hoax falsely claims that accepting a video called ‘The Dance of The Pope’ will format your phone.

Sharing these false warnings will help nobody.  If you receive this message, do not post it to others. and let the person who sent it know that the warning is a hoax.

An example of the hoax

There is a video filming on Whatsapp called “Popcorn Carnival” Do not open it under any circumstances. Be warned. It will Hack your phone in seconds and you cannot stop it in anyway. Please forward to your contacts as soon as possible.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,