Multiple videos of Mumbai Police warning people in the streets about scam calls from numbers starting 140 are doing the rounds on social media. The videos showing Mumbai Police staff making public announcements went viral on Twitter and Facebook as people shared it suspecting fraud calls from numbers starting with 140. The video descriptions claimed that citizens should not pick up calls from numbers starting with 140 as their bank balance would become zero/nil. A sense of panic and fear spread among people as they watched these videos.
This Twitter user tagged Mumbai Police to confirm if the rumour was true.
@MumbaiPolice got this video on whatsapp informing not to pick up call from phone number starting with 140. This seems to be during covid pandemic as police is wearing a mask. Can you please confirm the authenticity of this news? pic.twitter.com/ystIiIWPdQ
— RV (@rvipani) July 10, 2020
Here is another video which was shared with a similar claim.
@ABPNews @Viralsach124 Please find reality behind it.
Mumbai Police Main Control has just received a message that call numbers starting with 140 should not be accepted.
Forward this information to all groups, even if it is a public group. pic.twitter.com/bSabH94Fe5
— himanshu singh (@restabit_honey) July 14, 2020
— H V R (@rhitesh711) July 10, 2020
Several similar videos were shared on Facebook by individuals and fb groups.
AIMIM Fans club page shared this video.
Mumbai Police officially clarified that this was a false rumour. Maharashtra Cyber Police tweeted that numbers starting with +140 number are of telemarketing calls. The police also wrote about the viral message claims that one’s bank account will be emptied if one receives calls from the numbers starting with 140. According to the tweet bank accounts are at risk only if a person shares their PIN number or OTP. In the end, the tweet said that the clarification has been issued by the Inspector General of Special Police.
डेबिट/ क्रेडिट कार्ड डिटेल्स जर कोणी विचारत असेल तर आपण आपली कोणतीही वैयक्तिक माहिती, बँक खात्याची माहिती, डेबिट/ क्रेडिट कार्डची माहिती अथवा पिन नंबर/ ओटीपी देऊ नये अथवा दिला जाणार नाही याची काळजी घ्यावी.
विशेष पोलीस महानिरीक्षक,
महाराष्ट्र सायबर (4/n)
— Maharashtra Cyber (@MahaCyber1) July 11, 2020
There is a video clip doing the rounds on social media of a police constable telling people not to accept calls from numbers starting with +140.
We would like to clarify that numbers starting with +140 are telemarketing calls. (1/n)
— Maharashtra Cyber (@MahaCyber1) July 10, 2020
The real reason behind the viral videos and claims turned out be a bizzare promotional strategy used by SonyLIV for an upcoming web series. According to an NDTV report from July 11, people in Mumbai are receiving such prank calls for promotion of a web series. The report is based on PTI feed. Several people have contacted the police out of fear. The report adds that a person named Vaibhav Pawar told the police that he received a call from ‘Rishi’ at around 4 pm. Rishi was crying on the phone and telling him that he saw a murder happen in front of him and now the murderer wants to kill him too.
Got a very disturbing call from this number +91 140 880 0135 @MumbaiPolice…The gentleman said he has witnessed a murder. Has recorded it on his phone & now those people want to kill him. He hung up after that. He was crying & quavering while speaking. Please look into this.
— smriti kiran (@smritikiran) July 10, 2020
Credit: Alt news
These calls were fake and the murder story was madeup as a part of promotional activities . The channel claimed that its “intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic.” The channel Sony LIV was making such fake calls to promote its new series ‘Undekhi’. While giving clarification in this matter on July 10 Sony LIV apologised.
If you have received a call for our show Undekhi & it has disturbed you we would like to sincerely apologise to you. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally & our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We sincerely regret any inconvenience.
— SonyLIV (@SonyLIV) July 10, 2020
Mumbai police criticized this promotional stunt.
The era of ‘any publicity is good publicity’ is a passé. Any publicity creating panic amongst citizens and suggesting a threat to their security will be dealt with necessary severity. Hope the fake calls for promotions aren’t bothering you any longer, Mumbaikars #SoNotDone
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) July 10, 2020
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