This week we were asked by Radio 2 whether we should be concerned about a message that is circulating. The message is being forwarded via WhatsApp and warns of 'the Martinelli hack'. This message has been circulating since 2017 and it keeps popping up from time to time. It is a so-called 'hoax', or simply the online version of a 'chain letter'. There is no Martini virus or hack. The story is not true. At best, it can scare people, but otherwise, it is harmless.
Who would get it into his or her head to send this? Nobody knows. What are they trying to achieve? No idea.
Is it dangerous?
This message is not dangerous, but we recommend breaking the chain and not forwarding the message. It is dangerous if such a message asks you to click on a link or to transfer money. Never do that. If the message contains a link, forward it to email@example.com. Have you received this message too? Roll your eyes and delete it!