Saturday, January 19, 2008

Deadly Phone Virus

AngolaPress [Luanda, Angola]
19 January 2008

Mobile Phone Operator Denies Virus Rumours

Luanda, 01/19 – Angolan privately owned mobile phone operator, UNITEL, Saturday in Luanda, considered as groundless and unreliable rumours circulating in the capital, Luanda, that a deadly computing virus has been introduced on the country’s telephone network.

The company`s official, Henrique da Silva, who considered the rumours as a “bad joke”, told ANGOP that this lacks scientific grounds.

"It’s a bad joke, and we are asking our customers to keep calm and we encourage you to handle your cellphones without any problems. There is no computing virus causing death to human beings", stressed the official. [...]

[Nigeria, 2004]
19 July 2004

'Killer' GSM Call Scare Spreads

Daily Champion (Lagos)
July 17, 2004

Chukwiemeka Okoro, Ken Nwogbo, Remi Nweke, and Nkiru Okeke Lagos and Enugu

PANIC over alleged "killer" GSM phone calls spread Thursday, with subscribers in Enugu fretting over which calls to take and which to ignore, for safety.

In the coal city, many subscribers rushed to hospitals to confirm the state of their health after news spread that certain GSM phone numbers were death knell once the receiver said, "Hello." [...]

BBC News
19 July 2004

Panic at Nigerian 'killer calls'

Nigerian mobile phone users have been anxiously checking who is calling them before answering them in recent days.

A rumour has spread rapidly in the commercial capital, Lagos, that if one answers calls from certain "killer numbers" then one will die immediately. [...]

The Age [Melbourne]
20 July 2004

'Killer numbers' hoax causes panic in Nigeria


A Nigerian mobile telephone firm is seeking to quash a widespread rumour that users answering calls from two "killer numbers" have been struck dead on the spot.

Over the weekend Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, was gripped by reports that calls from the numbers 0802 311 1999 and 0802 222 5999 had slain subscribers who answered them. [...]

The Independent [South Africa]
22 July 2004

Panic spreads over 'killer' cellphone numbers

By Dulue Mbachu

Lagos -- Oluchi Azubogu took no chances after receiving an ominous text message stirring fear in Nigeria.

The message warned that she would die if she took calls from two listed phone numbers.

"I switched off my mobile phone and took no calls at all," the 22-year-old university student said. Quickly she alerted her parents and six friends. [...]
23 July 2004

Lagos: Anxiety Over 'Satanic' GSM Phone Numbers

This Day (Lagos)

Strange claims of killer GSM phone numbers is causing panic among subscribers in Lagos, Yemi Akinsuyi reports

It remains a misery how it all began. The police have tried to dismiss it as hog wash, saying they have received no report so far of any victim.

So is one of the GSM network operators, V Mobile, but the claims persist, spreading all over and causing so much anxiety among GSM mobile phone subscribers. The situation is not being helped by some churches, who have repeatedly warned their followers on the consequences of answering calls of the purported 'satanic' numbers' or even being called on the numbers.

As the claim goes, receiving a call from any of the numbers results in the receiver vomiting blood to death. [...]
23 July 2004

Telecom Operators Count Losses From Killer Phone Rumours

Vanguard (Lagos)

Godfrey Ikhemuemhe

OPERATORS in the telecommunications industry yesterday recounted the damage which the rumour that some phone calls could cause instant death has done to their business in the past two weeks since it broke. This is following the reported mob attack on the owner of one of the numbers peddled as a death number.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators (ALTON) yesterday, Ogugua Chioke, chairman of the Regulatory Committee of the association contended that the rumour was an indication that some people wanted to damage the investment of telecommunications operators in the country. [...]

The Sun [Nigeria]
22 July 2004

Do you believe a man can be killed through GSM call?

By Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye

Nigerians have been having sleepless nights over the rumour that certain telephone numbers are allegedly killing people. The numbers, 08011123999, 08022225999, 08023111999, reports claimed have either killed or maimed their receivers.

Daily Sun went to town to get the opinion of people on the alleged killer phone-numbers. [...]
23 July 2004

GSM Death Knell: Subscriber's Life Under Threat

Daily Champion (Lagos)


THE Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has added voice in condemning the recent hoax story, that certain Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) numbers were killer numbers, saying it is "scientifically impossible".

This is coming as the continued threat on the life of one and only viable subscriber in the 'death knell' hoax, has earned him a new mobile phone free, while the hitherto GSM line reportedly involved has since been blocked. [...]

Daily Times [Lagos, Nigeria]
26 July 2004

Phantom phone calls?

Fear and confusion reigns over strange tales of harmful phone numbers. Operators insist the claims are unscientific and superstitious, probably the work of dupes. But fresh "evidences" appear to puncture puncture these arguments. . JULIUS OLOYEDE reports. [...]

The Vanguard [Nigeria]
26 July 2004

GSM :- The killer phone rumour ... operators cry foul

By Godfrey Ikhemuemhe

FOR those who started the killer phone rumour, they have hit the raw nerve of telecommunications operators. True or false, the issue of phone calls causing instant death of receivers of such call has gained intensity in the country.

From Abuja to Lagos, from PortHarcourt to Maiduguri, from Ijebu Ode to Sokoto, the message is the same: take a call and die. [...]

The Daily Independent [Lagos, Nigeria]
26 July 2004

Group proffers solution to alleged killer GSM numbers

By Victor Ebimomi
reporter, Lagos

If you are afraid of the alleged GSM killer numbers, what you need do is to put a solid rock otherwise known as Ako Okuta in Yoruba language in any pocket of the clothe you wear.

This seemingly simple therapy will not only protect you from the deadly effect of the so called killer numbers, but it might also lead to a boomerang effect on the evil callers. [...]

Vanguard [Lagos]
28 July 2004

Killer GSM calls: Hoax or reality?

The killer phone call began as a baseless rumour but it is now spreading like wild-fire as more and more Nigerians testify to how they became victims, report Okey Ndiribe and Mike Ebonugwo. [...]
29 July 2004

Why Nigerians Should Ignore 'Killer' Numbers

Remmy Nweke

Daily Champion (Lagos)

Nigeria has achieved over six million subscribers mark on its Global System for Mobile (GSM) alone within three years, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and is seen as the fastest growing telecom market in Africa.

This may not have gone down well with some people, who think they ought to benefit from the market.

These people, believed to have masterminded the unhealthy reports in the media recently, including the rumoured 'GSM killer numbers' which were nicknamed 'Evil numbers' by Lagosians. [...]
29 July 2004

Bus Stop Parliament :- Answer This Call And Die

Vanguard (Lagos)

July 28, 2004

Mike Ebonugwo

THE mini-van commercial bus left the Ikeja Bus-Stop and was heading for Mile Two. Suddenly there was a sweet melodious sound from the handbag of a lady sitting beside the conductor in the middle row seat. She quickly unzipped the bag and brought out a GSM handset. But instead of answering the call, the lady took one look at her set, frowned and quickly pressed the reject key.

However, after some seconds, the phone resumed its musical ringing. But this time the lady ignored it. Either puzzled or curious about the lady's attitude one of the passengers in the bus had drawn her attention to the phone. "My sister, answer your phone now," urged the man who gave his name as Osaro.

But the lady by name Agatha had quickly retorted with a vigorous shake of the head: "No-oo, I don't know who's calling. I'm seeing that number for the first time and I don't know anybody who can be calling me with it. With what is happening in this country now, one has to be careful before you answer any call from a strange number." [...]

Saturday Punch [Nigeria]
31 July 2004


Businesses suffer setback as rumour about evil GSM numbers spreads

People of the world will think we are mad

Vincent Akanmode and Ayodele Ale

These certainly are not the best of times for cell phone users across the country, particularly members of the business community. For the past two weeks the rumour of deadly GSM numbers has been spreading like a wild fire, setting many phone users on edge with regards to their safety.

Like most other rumours that have been peddled in recent times, it is one that has no scintilla of linkage with scientific thinking. In other words, it is a rumour that seeks to celebrate superstition. Its substance is that there is now a set of mobile phone numbers on parade and any subscriber who is unfortunate enough to answer calls that are made with those numbers is guaranteed instant death after vomitting some quantity of blood. [...]

The Guardian [Nigeria]
2 Aug 2004


Pandemonium over GSM killer numbers

SIR: The said killer/evil GSM telephone number that is causing so much havoc in the country now is nothing but a hype or farce.

The truth about the whole story is that some smart Nigerians with their foreign collaborators have been experimenting on some techniques to beat the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to their own game. They (the hackers) are trying to find a way to access the various available networks through an unauthorised frequency, and in so doing, there would be a violent reaction which is caused by radioactive or hyperactive (abnormally active) sound. This in turn causes a brainstorm (violent mental disturbance) which eventually will result to brain haemorrhage (profuse bleeding). [...]
2 Aug 2004

This Day (Lagos)

A Society And Its Beliefs

Uddin Ifeanyi

[…] And there is no argument but that the national psyche is pre-industrial. Or how else to interpret "killer phone" scare currently making the rounds in the country? The basic outline of the story is simple: some malefactor calls his/her intended victim across one of the global system for mobile communication (GSM-based) networks and any of several things happen to the one receiving the call: vertigo, haemorrhage, even death! Why would any one do this? Again, for material gain. Apparently, there are certain pre-Christian or fetish practices, which make it possible for practitioners to parlay the life essence of their victims into hard cash.
4 Aug 2004

Sketches :- The Mobile Phone Saga

Vanguard (Lagos)

Aig Imoukhuede

Things have come to a pretty pass, when a man jumps like a scared rabbit when his mobile phone rings. He takes the phone out of his pocket and stares at it, as if it was a cobra coiled to strike. Then, mumbling something that sounds like a last prayer, he presses the "OK" button and listens. In one recent case the call was from the man's daughter, and all she wanted to do was say hello. It was not, as he had feared, a call from a blood-sucking demonic agent intent on snuffing out his life by remote control. [...]
4 Aug 2004

Midweek Features :- Arrest Phone Scare Peddlers--Chris Uwaje

Vanguard (Lagos)

Mike Ebonugwo

One question that was repeatedly asked during the 11th edition of the Telecoms Consumers Parliament last week Wednesday bordered on the mystery surrounding the so-called killer phone calls that have been reported in Lagos and other parts of the country. Those who asked the question wanted representatives of operators present to explain what was happening and to give assurance that Nigerians are safe in using their phones, especially the global system for mobile communication (GSM). [...]
4 Aug 2004

Two Collapse in Calabar After Receiving GSM Phone Call

Vanguard (Lagos)

George Onah

THE GSM killer numbers may have got the first victims in Calabar, Cross River State after two members of a family collapsed last week after receiving a call. They were however revived only by their neighbours. Trouble started for the Ibor Ubi family of No. 99 Old Odukpani road, Calabar, when Samuel, 16, and his sister, Blessing, 28, got a call through Blessing's handset.

According to Samuel, who is an SS2 student in Calabar, "my sister's phone rang and because she was busy in one part of our room I had to carry the phone. When I looked at the screen, I saw a number and not a name, I hesitated before answering and when I put the phone to my ears, there was a background noise. I then said hello, after which a man coughed in the phone and I did not know anything again." [...]

The Sun [Nigeria]
4 Aug 2004

Killer phone calls: Fact or farce?

By Wale Sokunbi <>

Rumour mongers should devote their energies to looking for ways to move this country forward. We have the best brains in the world.

Sensationalising issues is more or less the common practice in this part of the world. Rumours spread like wild fires. Opportunists take advantage of the situation to create havoc, dupe or coerce people into parting with money.

I feel real bad because Nigeria once again is at the verge of public ridicule as a result of our actions and inactions. The news all over the place now is that a mere phone call can and has sent people to their graves. [...]

Vanguard [Lagos, Nigeria]
20 Aug 2004

SPEAKING OUT :- GSM and other bugs


[…] It is difficult to tell from where exactly that the widespread rumours (and they can safely be called that) came from, about the GSM phone bug which has been said to have hit a good number of Nigerians which patronize - to their supposed peril - GSM services in Nigeria. And so, though no one has met or seen anyone who has been bitten by the GSM bug, nearly everyone has heard of the aunt of someone's step brother or the colleague of the husband of someone's cousin, who has been struck.

Accounts of the details of how the bug strikes has shown it to be a rather versatile and imaginative bug, with variations ranging from mild headaches and strong concussions, to copious bleeding from the nose and ears, to instant madness to loss of consciousness and, in extreme cases, even death. [...]

Champion [Nigeria]
20 Aug 2004

From Indomie to GSM, which product is next?

[…] Then came the turn of the GSM killer calls. According to the reports, answering a call from some GSM numbers like 08011123999 or 08022225999 can result in death.

When the news erupted, GSM subscribers were sent scampering as many switched off their phones or even refused to take their calls.

The hoax was somehow lent credence when it was reported that a 33-year old mother of three, Mrs. Toyin Lasisi, who lives at 12 Balogun Street, Alapere Ketu, collapsed after reportedly receiving a call on her GSM phone. She was reported to have been in her shop at Ikosi-Ketu Motorpark when she received the call. The incident took place penultimate Thursday. [...]

[India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries, 2006-2007];_ylt=Avj2AHRA2o8QjeIGiQQ6t4ugOrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

Yahoo! News
28 March 2006

'Devil' mobile phone calls spark panic in east India

BHUBANESWAR, India (AFP) - Authorities moved to quash panic among mobile phone users in eastern India after a rumour that "devil calls" from certain numbers have led to death and illness.

People started turning off their handsets after a rumour swept Orissa state of phones exploding like bombs killing their owners when they answered the calls.

The random "devil calls" supposedly started Sunday from phones with 11 to 14 digit numbers instead of the regular 10, said an official from India's state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam phone company. [...]

New Kerala [India]
28 March 2006

Mobile calls create panic in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Mar 27 : Panic struck mobile phone users in Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar after they got calls since morning today that told them they were being 'harmed' by receiving the calls.

Since early morning, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack police had been receiving hundreds of panic calls and most callers said they had been told that those receiving the calls were being "harmed". [...] [India]
28 March 2006

Mobile call rumours spread panic in Orissa

Sampad Mahapatra and Purushottam Thakur

In Orissa, there was panic across the state following rumours that people who received calls on their mobile phones from certain numbers died instantly.

The calls come from phones with 12 or 14 digit numbers and since Sunday night, hundreds of people across Orissa kept sending information about a set of three mobile numbers to their near and dear ones.

The imaginary numbers which were in circulation were 94115817683, 91891555343 and 949522242. [...]

The Statesman [India]
28 March 2006

Death call via mobiles

Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, March 27. From Lord Ganesh drinking milk to a fatal virus transmitted through mobile phone calls, rumour mongers have apparently kept pace with developing technology.

Cell phone users across the state were subjected to the dangers of responding to a call from a 11 digit number as the rumour spread like wild fire. [...]

Chandigarh Newsline [India]
27 March 2007

Rumour mill at work again, this time against mobile calls

Kapil Trikha

Abohar, March 26: After rumours about the earthquake, the rumour mills have started working again. This time, people are being told not to respond to phone calls on their mobiles from a particular number or the mobile may explode or the respondent may get a cardiac arrest if one receives such calls.

Rajat, a local businessman, told ENS that his father received a call from a relative from Chandigarh yesterday, cautioning him not to respond to calls made by a particular number, as the moment one respond to such calls, the mobile will explode. Baljeet Kaur, a schoolteacher, said she got a telephone call that one of their relatives died of cardiac arrest the moment he responded to a call which he received on his mobile. Raminder Singh, a JBT teacher, had another story to tell. He said he received a call from a friend in Chandigarh, who warned him to throw his mobile the moment he notices digits of a particular phone number. [...]

Greater Kashmir
30 March 2007

Haunted phones!

'It's a hoax'


Srinagar, Mar 29: As if death was only a call away. This fear spread like wildfire across the state and beyond with mobile subscribers high on nerves exchanging ‘dreaded’ SMSs since Wednesday evening that warned not to receive calls from some specific cell numbers – feared to bring death for the receiver.

However, the authorities confirmed it was hoax and asked people not to give ear to such rumours.

“Please don’t pick calls from 0000888800, 0000111000, 0115500000, 0008888899, 00009999900, 0088880004, 0004400044. These are viruses which resulted in death of several people including 50 in India...,” the SMS reads. [...]

India eNews
29 March 2007

Mobile phone explosions rumour rocks Kashmir

From correspondents in Jammu and Kashmir, India

Panic and fear gripped thousands of mobile phone users in Kashmir after rumours spread here that two people had died in explosions when they answered calls from some mysterious numbers.

Dumping their cell phones, users began using traditional landline phones to call up the local service providers asking them about the 'mysterious cell phone explosions'. [...]

Daily Times [Lahore, Pakistan]
11 April 2007

Phones off in fear of virus

DASKA: Rumours of a ‘Red Virus’ that attacks mobile phones convinced thousands of phone users in Daska and Sambrial tehsils to switch off their mobiles on Tuesday. Several phone users told Daily Times that they had kept their phones switched off for the day after friends and relatives had warned them of the “deadly virus”. The virus was said to manifest in the form of a strange number, accompanied by a picture of a woman, calling mobile phones. Answering the phone was said to result in an explosion fatal to the person receiving the call. Residents of Daska and Sambrial said they had received such calls and immediately switched their phones off. A spokesman for a leading mobile phone operator dismissed the virus as a rumour. “No virus is attacking mobile phones,” said the spokesman. zawar hussain syed

13 April 2007

Deadly virus phone threat causes Pakistan panic

KARACHI (Reuters) - Mobile service providers in Pakistan have been inundated by calls from subscribers worried by a prank message that they could die of a deadly virus being transmitted via their phones.

The rumor was so effective that some mosques in the country's biggest city, Karachi, made announcements that people were being killed by a mobile virus and they should be aware of God's wrath. [...]

Gulf News [United Arab Emirates]
14 April 2007

Widespread panic over mobile phone death threat

By Imtiaz Shah, Correspondent

Karachi: Mobile phone providers have hurriedly moved to calm subscribers after a widespread prank warned a deadly virus was being transmitted from phone to phone across the country warning people they would die if they answered the call.

"Do not answer any call from a four digit number. It's a virus which has a frequency more than your ear can hear. It will affect your brain and put you to death, be careful please. The number is 0099149," the short service message warned. [...]

Daily Times [Lahore, Pakistan]
14 April 2007

No cell virus: PTA

Mobile rumours from mosques

KARACHI: Rumours of a deadly virus being transmitted by via mobile phones have caused some mosques in the country’s biggest city, Karachi, to announce that people are dying of a mobile virus and that they should be wary of God’s wrath. Mobile service providers in Pakistan have been inundated by calls from subscribers worried by a message that they could die of a deadly virus being transmitted via their phones, reports Reuters. [...]

Daily Times [Lahore, Pakistan]
14 April 2007

The Grim Reaper has a phone number: ‘Death call from the dark side’ spooks Karachi

By Bilal Farooqi

KARACHI: Rumors of a ‘supernatural’ killer call on mobiles phones, that supposedly kills the person receiving the call by damaging their central nervous system and splattering the brain, have swept like wildfire among Karachiites.

According to these rumors, which are believed to have originated in Sialkot, the victim receives a call on his or her mobile phone in which a red-colored apparition of a woman appears on the display screen. There have been claims in the Punjab that many deaths have taken place by unsuspecting cell phone owners.

In Karachi, these rumors have taken on a whole new twist, as many now believe that besides death, this mysterious call can also result in impotency in men who receive the call, while the women end up becoming pregnant.

According to the rumors, the cause of this supernatural call is that some mobile phone company set up a tower at a graveyard, which enraged the spirits, causing them to wreak havoc among mobile phone users. [...]

16 April 2007

Deadly virus phone rumours frighten Afghans

KABUL (Reuters) - Rumors swept through Afghanistan on Monday that a deadly virus was being spread by mobile telephone calls, and government officials scrambled to reassure the public the talk was rubbish.

Many worried Afghan mobile phone users called family and friends, warning them not to answer calls from strange numbers. Some people said they had heard that several people had been killed by the mystery virus in Kabul at the weekend. [...]

Houston Chronicle
16 April 2007

Afghan Rumor Spreads of Cell Virus

The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan - Worried Afghans switched off their mobile phones and warned their friends and family to do the same, as rumors spread of a deadly virus that could be contracted by answering calls from "strange numbers." [...]

Middle East Times [Egypt]
16 April 2007

Taliban blamed for 'deadly phone virus' rumor

KABUL [AFP]-- Afghan authorities Monday blamed Taliban militants for spreading a rumor that a deadly virus is being transmitted via mobile telephones.

The rumor, which raced like wildfire late Sunday among the country's estimated 2 million cellphone users, said that anyone answering calls from certain numbers or codes would contract a fatal disease. [...]

The News International [Pakistan]
13 April 2007

The call of death rings on Friday the 13th


“Don’t pick the call from unknown numbers. It can be a call of death,” read a widely circulated text message on cell phones, which buzzed the country on Friday, April 13. This later proved to be a hoax but authorities and operators remain unable to trace the motive for this mischief. [...]

The News International [Pakistan]
19 April 2007

Phone virus rumour in NWFP

By Nisar Mahmood

PESHAWAR: The rumour of mobile virus and subscribers' falling unconscious through receiving an obnoxious call has created panic among people of the NWFP like other parts of the country.

Daily scores of consumers make phone calls to newspapers' offices asking if there is any reality in the rumour? Rumour-mongering club is joined by new members on daily basis and the situation has gone to the extent of quoting incidents of unconsciousness and subscribers' landing at hospitals are also being published. [...]

Institute for War and Peace Reporting [UK]
19 April 2007

Officials try to refute lurid tales of “lethal” phone calls, but word-of-mouth rumours prove stronger than truth.

By Hafizullah Gardesh in Kabul (ARR No. 250, 19-Apr-07)

The rumour gathered strength throughout the day. First there were a few calls from various provinces warning of a virus transmitted by mobile phone. By late afternoon on April 16, a wave of panic had engulfed the whole of Afghanistan.

Some people said that if you answered a call made from a certain number, you would begin to bleed from the ears and nose. Others insisted that the calls induced immediate heart attacks, strokes or convulsions. [...]

1 April 2007

Don't Touch That..."Answer Call" Button

So last week was kinda interesting, because a number of people stopped answering their cell phones. After a couple of conversations with Tibetan friends, Lena ferreted out the truth. They weren’t picking up calls because there were a couple of phone numbers…OF DOOM…that were known to kill people who answered calls from these numbers on their cell phones. Our friends all had stories they’d heard about folks who had just keeled right over dead, right after answering a call from one of the phone numbers…OF DOOM. [...],1,62465

Chicago Tribune
26 April 2007

Rumors of cell phone deaths greatly exaggerated

Tales of a virus that kills with one call became the talk of Pakistan, the Tribune's Kim Barker writes

By Kim Barker
the Tribune's South Asia correspondent

KARACHI, Pakistan -- The rumor spread quickly, from the small town of Sialkot to the nation, from cell phone to cell phone, friend to friend. The text messages warned of a virus if people answered phone calls from certain numbers.

The virus would not hurt the phone. Instead, in a scene out of a horror movie, it would kill the recipient. Immediately.

"Plz ignore calls frm 0A9-888888 or with screen with dancing snake & changing colours its a deadly virus and in some regions of Pakistan death are being reported," began one message.

Another said: "it's a virus to kill a person. Plz it's not a joke it's damn serious virous." [...]

Kuwait Times
27 April 2007

Ring of death a hoax

By By Shakir Reshamwala, Staff writer

Consider this. You get a call on your mobile phone. Then you are dead. If rumours flying around are to be believed, this mobile virus works this way: A person gets a call from an unidentified number. He or she picks up the phone. Poof! A brain haemorrhage and the person is dead or incapacitated. Rumours claim 21 people have died in Kuwait from this mobile virus, while many others are in hospital.

The hoax has caused panic and confusion among mobile phone users throughout South Asia and has now reached Kuwait and the Gulf. While few people actually believe the stories about the alleged "ring of death", the rumours have spread far and wide, with many sending the stories to their friends and family via text messages. Both mobile carriers in Kuwait, MTC and Wataniya, have dismissed the alleged killer mobile phone virus. There are more than 2.5 million mobile subscribers in Kuwait.

Theories abound about how this virus manages to kill its victims. The most prominent suggests that an extremely high-pitched screech is heard, which causes blood vessels in the brain to explode. This explanation has rightly been pooh-poohed, since a mobile phone speaker cannot produce such high-frequency sounds. One warning sign is that the killer number appears in red on the screen. That means those with monochrome displays are dead meat. It wouldn't be a surprise if there is a surge in sales of new cell phones. [...] [Ghana]
30 April 2007

Phone scare: Areeba says it's a hoax

MTN Areeba, the largest mobile phone network in Ghana, has described as a hoax rumours circulating that calls coming from certain numbers cause death or brain damage. [...]

Yemen Observer
22 May 2007

Rumors of deadly phone calls are false, say officials

Posted in: Front Page
Written By: Abdul-Aziz Oudah & Faisal Darem
Article Date: May 22, 2007 - 10:12:02 PM

Rumors that malefactors from the west are sending a deadly virus through mobile phones have sent Yemeni citizens into a panic, making them afraid to answer their phones. Although it is scientifically impossible to kill a person or infect them with a virus with a phone call, scores of people are anxiously scanning every incoming call, refusing to answer numbers they do not recognize. They are particularly fearful of any phone call that looks like it may be coming from abroad. [...]

Daijiworld [India]
21 June 2007

Udupi: SMS Scare Grips Town and around - Is it for Real?

Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SM/RD)

Udupi, Jun.21: An SMS, which is being forwarded by some unknown mobile owners around here during the past few days, has created a sense of fear among the mobile users.

The message, which proved to be a hoax, reads thus: “Do not pick calls from given numbers – 98883 08001, 93160 48121, 98762 66211, 98888 54137, 98767 15587, these numbers are displayed in red and calls from these cause brain haemorrhage because of very frequency. Twentyseven persons have died just on receiving call from these numbers- watch Aaj Tak, DD news and IBN 7.” [...]

Yemen Times
25 June 2007

The deadly virus of mobile

Khalid Al-Dhahbani

As days pass, we go through several technological, cultural, political, and oil-related technologies. We move from one century to another while our minds, as Arabs, remain the same without development and continue to imagine what is unbelievable and unreasonable. [...]

oHeraldo [Goa, India]
17 July 2007

`Red Alert' SMS puts mobile users in a fix


AGONDA, JULY 16 - Attending mobile calls may not be that safe in future, if one pays any serious attention to the rumor mongers who have lately divulged to spread fear in people's psyche to be careful while attending mobile calls.

It is learnt that some elements have reportedly in-scripted fear psychosis in people's mind that attending mobile calls received from a number displayed in colour `Red' on your mobile can create a `blast' sorts causing instant death. The rumormongers even spread the news about number of deaths occurred by such process to be specifically put at `27'. [...]

Times of India

23 August 2007

Killer SMS hoax doing rounds

MUMBAI: On Wednesday, an SMS started doing the rounds of cellphones. It urged people not to accept calls from a few numbers listed in the message.

If a call originated from any of these numbers, the message said, it would show up on their cellphone screens in red. On taking the call, the message added, a high-frequency sound would emanate.

It could cause the brain to haemorrhage and even kill. "27 persons died just on receiving these calls from these numbers," it added for good measure. [...]

The Mercury [South Africa]
26 April 2008

Red number is not a cause of death

Phnom Penh - Cambodian officials have moved to quell growing hysteria sparked by a rumour that a ghostly red number was appearing on mobile phones and killing people, local media and police said Saturday. [...]

Posts and Telecommunications Minister So Khun said the rumour was probably due to growing tension prior to scheduled national elections in July, the English-language Cambodia Daily reported. [...]

Police warned Saturday that if the culprit for this latest text-message-fuelled scare was found they would be prosecuted, but admitted Chinese whisper investigations of this nature were virtually impossible to trace. - Sapa-dpa

The Jakarta Post [Indonesia]
9 August 2008

Superstition goes digital: Witchcraft via SMS?

Ary Hermawan, The Jakarta Post

[...] In May this year, people in Sumatra were haunted by the so-called "SMS santet", a kind of evil sorcery sent via text messages on cell phones.

A rumor quickly spread across the country that a text message received from numbers starting with 0866 and 0666 could turn the color of a cell phone's screen red and kill the person who received it.

The police and religious leaders called on the public to stay calm, saying it was just a hoax -- but at the same time, the media fueled the terror by reporting stories of alleged "victims"; those who were fooled by tricksters. [...]

Agence France-Presse
25 March 2009

Egypt tries to hang up on killer SMS rumours

CAIRO (AFP) — The Egyptian government has sought to dispel rumours that a mobile phone text message "from unknown foreign quarters" is spreading around the country and killing those who receive it.

The extraordinary move by Egypt's health and interior ministries follows press reports that an SMS containing a special combination of numbers killed a man in the town of Mallawi south of Cairo.

"He died vomiting blood, followed by stroke, shortly after he received a message from an unknown phone number," the Egyptian Gazette reported on Wednesday. [...]

Haveeru Daily [Maldives]
5 May 2010

Behind the ‘Red Number Hoax’

By Ali Naafiz

[...] The rumours swept like wildfire among Maldivians on Tuesday, with chain messages warning the receiver not to answer calls from 7888308001, 9316048121, 9876266211, 9888854137 and 9876715587, “which would be in red colour.” Or else “you may get brain haemorrhage due to high frequency,” the texts read. They also claimed “27 people died just receiving the call,” urging the receiver to “watch DD News [an Indian public broadcaster] to confirm” the reports. [...]

Times of India
13 August 2010

Don't believe in rumours of 'deadly' phone calls

NAGPUR: The city has recently seen a slew of rumours doing the rounds on mobile phones, cautioning about calls coming from a few specific numbers, which would allegedly cause physical harm to the recipient.

On Thursday, the situation aggravated after rumours about deaths after answering such calls also started doing the rounds. Media houses got several calls enquiring about the 'danger' numbers and whether they had caused any deaths in the city or led to blasts of cellphones.

The police control room was also flooded with calls and enquiries. There was a call at the control room about a nine-year-old girl allegedly dying at Subhas Nagar and another of a teenager's death due to bleeding from ears after receiving the call at Siras Peth. [...]

Times of India
14 August 2010

Boy claims mobile injury, docs say no

Alka Panse, TNN

NAGPUR: Nagpur police has rubbished claims that a 15-year-old boy sustained mysterious injuries on his left eye while fiddling with a cellphone.

The incident was one of the several rumours of strange rays from cellphones claiming the lives of users which have been doing the rounds in the city. [...]

Communications Commission of Kenya
1 September 2010

CCK issues statement on alarming SMS message

The attention of the Commission has been drawn to SMS and email messages that are doing the rounds in the country warning mobile users against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. The messages further allege that receipt of calls from either the unknown or listed numbers would cause brain haemorrhage due to high frequency. [...]
Daily Nation [Kenya]
1 September 2010
CCK assures public over mobile phone hoax
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
1 September 2010
Kenyan government dismisses "killer phone number" hoax'death%20call'%20SMS%20alerts%20as%20hoax
The Standard [Kenya]
1 September 2010
State dismisses 'death call' SMS alerts as hoax
By Mutinda Mwanzia and Daniel Nzia
Business Daily [Nairobi, Kenya]
1 September 2010
Phone hoax shifts focus to regulator’s ability to curb crime
By Okuttah Mark

The Citizen [Tanzania]
4 September 2010

Fears allayed over scaring text messages

By Al-amani Mutarubukwa

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has urged Tanzanians to ignore messages warning them against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. [...]


Sudan Tribune
8 September 2010

Allegations of deaths resulting from mobile phone calls are not true – Minister

By James Gatdet Dak

September 7, 2010 (JUBA) – The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Service in the Government of Southern Sudan, Madut Biar Yel, has dismissed as “mere rumors” the alleged death of people resulting from some mobile phone calls in Southern Sudan.

For the last five days, rumors spread among the population that there were certain strange phone numbers, when calls were being received from, immediately exploded on the receivers’ phones and caused injuries or deaths. A number of people across the region were alleged to have already died because of the phone explosions. [...]

The Assam Tribune [Guwahati, India]
14 September 2010

Panic in Barak valley over mysterious calls


HAILAKANDI, Sept 13 – People are falling ill after receiving anonymous calls from unknown numbers on mobile phones and it has led to panic among the people, mostly in the rural areas of the Barak valley, said a senior police official. On the other hand, there was no specific explanation from medical experts. [...]

Sify News [India]
26 September 2010

'Bombile' is the latest terror in Assam

Guwahati, Sep 26 (IANS) 'Bombile' is the latest phrase terrorizing Assam with reports of mobile phones suddenly exploding, causing the user to become unconscious. The mysterious phenomenon has prompted Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to order a scientific probe to unravel the bizarre occurrences. [...]

Morung Express [India]
25 September 2010

Assam’s mobile phones go “explode”
Newmai News Network

Guwahati - September 25 : They are mysterious cases but true. At least 15 people have been injured in the few days following the explosions of mobile phones after calls from certain numbers in the state of Assam. [...]

Morung Express [India]

‘Bombile’ scare rocks Nagaland

Dimapur September 28 : The “bombile” scare seems to have reached Nagaland as mobile subscribers are having second thoughts about receiving any calls from unknown new numbers. On Tuesday, September 28, stories aided by ‘SMSes’ spread like wildfire, about two people reportedly falling “victim” to the rumored ‘red calls’ in Dimapur. [...]
The Morung Express [India]
29 September 2010
No mobile phone threat

Champion Newspapers [Nigeria]
15 September 2011

Panic over death through GSM calls
It’s a mere hoax -- NCC

Charles Okoh, Deputy News Editor

Panic yesterday gripped mobile phone users in Nigeria as news spread that people were dying after answering calls on their mobile phones. [...]

Same article also available at
Nigeria: Panic Over Death Through GSM Calls -It's a Mere Hoax -- NCC
Charles Okoh

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