Mumbai: A prank call as part of a promotion for a new web series ‘Undekhi’ on online streaming platform Sony LIV has rung alarm bells among Mumbai residents.
The Mumbai Police’s control room started receiving calls from people on Friday afternoon. The callers complained that they had been receiving strange calls from numbers starting with 140 or 40.
The calls also spawned rumours of banking fraud with claims that answering calls from numbers beginning with the digits 140 would lead to bank accounts being hacked.
According to a report in The Indian Express (TIE), Vaibhav Pawar who owns an advertising agency, said a man who identified himself as ‘Rishi’ called him around 4 pm and begged for help. ‘Rishi’ claimed he had witnessed a murder and recorded the incident on his mobile phone. The murderer was now trying to kill him, ‘Rishi’ said.
Some residents took to Twitter tagging Mumbai Police regarding the same. In reply, Mumbai Police tweeted, “Please do not share any sensitive details over a call and visit the nearest police station for further support.”
“People were so scared by the rumours that they deleted banking apps from the phones because they did not want to take a risk. Many people reported receiving the phone call,” Harish Baijal, Deputy Inspector General, Cyber was quoted as saying by TIE.
Following this incident, Sony LIV apologized through Twitter about the inconvenience caused due to the testing of its promotional activity.
However, late in the evening, Mumbai Police asked Sony LIV to call off the promotional activity. Police are mulling over options to take legal action against Sony LIV.