A promotional campaign by an online streaming platform for a new web series led to panic among Mumbai residents, following which Mumbai Cyber Police warned the broadcasting company Saturday to stop the campaign.
Twitter and the Mumbai Police’s helpline were flooded after panicked citizens reported receiving a phone call from a man who reported witnessing a murder. Several users even uploaded recordings of the call from the number +911408800135.
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.
After receiving a large number of complaints, the Mumbai Police asked the company to call off its campaign. Police are also weighing its options on whether it should take legal action against the company. “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, said. The Maharashtra Police’s Cyber department also issued a clarification urging people not to believe in rumours that answering calls from numbers beginning with the digits 140 would instantly wipe out the bank accounts.
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