No, the Talking Angela app wasn’t created by me

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Talking AngelaIt feels a little as if the world has been driven quite insane by the “Talking Angela” hoax.

If you’ve been lucky enough to miss all the fuss so far, here’s a quick recap.

About a year ago, a chain letter began to be spread online claiming that a popular smartphone app featuring a talking cartoon cat was really a front for paedophiles to groom children.

In the last week or so, the chain letter has resurfaced with incredible ferocity, with many Facebook users forwarding it to each other without checking their facts.

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Versions of the hoax have even crossed the language divide, and there have been been false stories published claiming that children have been abducted after playing the game.

This morning, things took a new twist for me when a woman from the North of England rang me out of the blue, and asked if *I* was the author of the Talking Angela app.

She didn’t sound very happy, so I felt I should tread carefully.

“No, I didn’t write the app,” I calmly replied.

“Well,” she huffed, as what I presumed to be a whippet barked behind her. “I googled for ‘Talking Angela’ and it was your name which came up.”

I gently explained that I had merely written about the hoax and that didn’t mean I had created the app myself. (“Yes, it’s a hoax madam. You’ve been reading stuff on the internet which isn’t true. Just imagine!”)

After a couple of minutes she appeared to accept my protestations of innocence, and my suggestion that it she googled a little harder she would find plenty of other legitimate sources confirming that the app was not a cloak for paedophiles to access young children, and that there wasn’t a paedophile lurking in the cartoon cat’s eye.

It’s a very very strange world.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

4 comments on “No, the Talking Angela app wasn’t created by me”

  1. Ha ha!Seriously? :-D
    That kind of gave me a fit. ;-)

  2. HacKan

    Hhahaha this one deserves a medal :D
    Really hilarious

  3. ThinkAboutIt

    The hoax apparently started somewhere in North England by a middle-aged mom. It's amazing how they are completely computer and functionally illiterate. And now calling random people trying to help spread the word about the hoax? Geez.

  4. CatsRule

    Wow. I believed it was true. Thank you for saying the whole hoax was a lie. I was scared of going back on my talking angela for a while.

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