Mumbai, July 10: Mumbai Police have warned citizens against phone calls from numbers starting with 140, saying it can lead to banking fraud. Social media is flooded with videos of Mumbai Police personnel asking people not to receive calls from numbers starting with 140. "If you receive the call, your bank account will become empty," a policeman can be heard saying in Marathi in one such video. Netizens also pointed out that they also recieved messages on WhatsApp regarding mobile numbers starting with 140.
It appears some cybercriminals are using mobile numbers starting with 140 to dupe people and steal money from their bank accounts. Here it may be noted that telecallers who promote and advertise products. While Mumbai Police is saying calls from mobile numbers starting with 140 can lead to cybercrime, another issue related to 140 calls has come up. Some Twitter users have pointed out that they recieved calls from a mobile number starting with 140 and it turned out to be a promotional strategy of Undekhi, a new thriller web series on Sony LIV app.
Mumbai Police Personnel Warning Against Mobile Number Starting With 140:
— 𝑨𝒋𝒂𝒚 पाठक 💎 (@its_ajay_tweets) July 10, 2020
@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
— Rushabh D Vipani (@rvipani) July 10, 2020
@MahaCyber1 I need a clarification on this video. As per my knowledge, the numbers starting from 140 are registered as telemarketers. And how is it possible if I pick up the call and my account balance gets nil? Thanks in advance. pic.twitter.com/8Px8hZeprc
— Chinmay Purav (@PuravChinmay) July 10, 2020
Users said they recieved a call from a mobile number starting with 140. On the call, a man, who identified himself as Rishi, was saying that he had recorded murder on his phone. The man further said that one ‘Rinku’ is trying to kill him too. The distressing voice comes before another voice says "Undekhi… streaming now on Sony Liv", they said. Users described the promotional gimmick by Sony Liv as "creepy", "ridiculous" and something that can cause panic.
Sony LIV's Promotional Call For Undekhi Disturbs Many:
Shame on you @SonyLIV I just got to know that this call is a promotional gimmick for your new show. I was on the floor breathless with panic when I got it. Are you out of your mind doing this??? @MumbaiPolice you must take action. This is appalling and unethical. https://t.co/4Vp1YAzYjW
— smriti kiran (@smritikiran) July 10, 2020
Dear @SonyLIV #Undekhi
What creepy shit promotion stint is this.... Horrible! @MIB_India @TRAI
How are Such promotional calls even allowed?
I almost skipped a heart beat, imagine elders or someone with weak heart conditions recieving it! Calling#+91 140 897 0061 #cheapshot pic.twitter.com/EOZDS35xsf
— R K (@RRosleen) July 10, 2020
As many people went on to Twitter to slam Sony Liv for their promotional call for Undekhi web series, the application apologised. "Hey! If you have received a call for our show Undekhi & it has disturbed you, we would like to sincerely apologize. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally & our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We regret any inconvenience," Sony LIV replied to a user.
Sony LIV Apologises For 'Distressing' Calls:
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
The Telecom Regulators’ Authority of India (TRAI) has mandated that phone numbers of telemarketers must start with 140 so that people can identify them. It appears that people are not aware of this rule and receiving calls from mobile numbers starting with 140 and believing it to be true from foreign countries.