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Deadly Mobile Phone Virus Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Warning email claims that receiving a mobile phone call from certain numbers will cause brain hemorrhaging and death


Subject: mobile phone brain virus

Hi All,

Its very important news for all of you. Do not pick up calls from the Under given numbers.

9876715587 ,
These numbers will come in red color, if the call comes up from these numbers. Its with very high wave length, and frequency. If a call is received on mobile from these numbers, it creates a very high frequency and it causes brain ham range.

It’s not a joke rather, its TRUE. 27 persons died just on receiving calls from these numbers. Watch Aaj Tak (NEWS), DD News and IBN 7.

Forward this message to all u’r friends and colleagues, and relative

Detailed Analysis:
A new rumour that is spreading rapidly via word-of-mouth, email, phone and sms claims that simply receiving a mobile (cell) phone call from certain numbers will activate a terrible virus that causes brain hemorrhaging and death. According to the message, the phone calls create high frequency tones that damage the user’s brain, causing fatal injuries. The message claims that 27 people have already died and names several news outlets where people can supposedly find out more information.

There is, of course, not a shred of truth to this absurd story. There is no virus like the one described, nor is one even possible. No one has died and the only news reports on the subject are those dismissing it as a hoax.

The hoax apparently started as a text message that began circulating in Pakistan. It soon spread to Afghanistan where it has caused terror throughout the country. Network operators and government officials in both countries have moved to quell the rumours. Mobile Business Magazine notes:

Pakistan network operators released a joint statement saying: “These rumors are completely baseless. They do not make any sense in technological terms.”

Afghan officials have since appeared on television, appealing for calm and reassuring people that there is no possible way a person can contract a virus via a telephone call.

However, in spite of these assurances, the story took on a life of its own and caused a wave of panic to sweep the country. As well as the brain hemorrhage claims, some versions claimed that call recipients suffered instant heart attacks, strokes or convulsions. Some people even believed that simply pressing a button on a mobile phone would release a “death ray”.

Those allegedly responsible for the hoax have now been arrested. An IWPR article notes:

On the evening of April ‘7, the interior ministry announced that four men had been arrested in connection with the case.

According to one version of events, the hoax was traced to a company that imports special “magnetic cards” that are hung around the neck and will supposedly protect the wearer from the harmful effects of computers and mobile phones.

An official in the Ministry of Communications, who did not want to give his name, alleged that the company involved put the rumour out in retaliation for a ministry statement telling people not to buy the magnetic cards.

The stories are somewhat reminiscent of Cell, a novel by horror writer Stephen King in which a brain-altering mobile phone call wreaks havoc among US citizens. Like the novel however, the stories are purely a work of fiction.

If you receive this message, please let the sender know that it is a hoax and do not pass it on to others.

Last updated: 20th April 2007
First published: 20th April 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Panic Over Deadly Mobile Virus
rban Myth Spreads Panic
PTA rejects rumors of mobile virus threat
Phone virus rumours spook Afghans
Cell – Review – Books – New York Times

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,