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‘Martinelli’ WhatsApp Video Hack Warning is Yet Another Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

A message currently circulating via WhatsApp warns users not to open a video called “martinelli” because it will hack your phone in 10 seconds and you will not be able to stop it.  

The message asks that you pass on the information to others so that they can avoid the threat as well.

The message circulates mainly in Spanish but some poorly translated English versions have surfaced as well.

However, the warning is just another silly Whatsapp hack hoax. There are no credible references to a security threat like the one described.

Spain’s Policía Nacional has debunked the message as a hoax via its Twitter feed.

Another, very similar version of the hoax warns WhatsApp users not to open a video called “Popcorn Carnival”. In fact, the hoax is just one of many silly hacker and virus hoaxes that have circulated in various formats for years.

If you receive this false warning, do not spread the hoax further by sharing it. And let the person who sent it know that the message is a hoax.

Note that, while these messages are hoaxes, WhatsApp users should be wary of fake notifications promising app upgrades or extra features.  These are scams designed to steal personal information or distribute malware.

Example of the hoax:

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.  Now said on the news this virus is difficult and severe Pass it on to all.

Warning from An Garda. An IT expert 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

Tomorrow comes a video for whatsapp is called martinelli do not open it hacks the phone in 10 seconds and you can not stop in any way pass the data to yours and friends

Martinelli WhatsApp Hack Hoax

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,