No basis to ‘deadly phone virus’, reassures Dhiraagu

Erroneous reports of a deadly phone call that supposedly uses high frequency tones to cause brain hemorrhaging have hit the Maldives in a tidal wave of warning text messages, TV news reports and panicked gossip.

Several local television news channels in the Maldivians have already reported the urban legend as fact, creating widespread panic by claiming that 27 people had already died worldwide including two Maldivians, supposedly in Fuvamula. This was not confirmed by police.

The story is a recurrent hoax that is thought to have originated in Afghanistan in 2007, according to Reuters, which reported the outbreak of mass hysteria in April that year. However the rumours quickly spread to Pakistan, where they were blamed on ‘God’s wrath’, before resurfacing in India in 2006 as ‘devil calls’. These variants also featured a death count of 27.

One account by the Institute of War and Peace Reporting traces the myth’s origins to a political spat between the Afghan Interior Ministry and Ministry of Communications.

The Maldivian version involves the circulation of a text message similar to:

”Dont attend to any calls from 7888308033, 9316048121, 9876266211, 9888854137, 9876715587 these numbers come in red color. U may get brain hamrage due to high frequency. 27 person died just receiving the call. Watch dd news to confirm. Please inform all your friends and relatives soon – its urgent.”

Dhiraagu Marketing and Public Relations Manager Mohamed Mirushan said all the stories and texts about deadly mobile phone viruses were baseless.

”People are calling and asking about the virus,” he said. ”It is technologically impossible for a phone call to cause a brain haemorrhage.”

He said that people should not always believe what a text message said.


18 thoughts on “No basis to ‘deadly phone virus’, reassures Dhiraagu”

  1. News Media outlets are reporting this as fact?! WHY?

    This is completely irresponsible on the part of any media outlet that does so. Shame.

  2. this shows the quality of journalism in the Maldives. These people who claim to know even better than the President ??? haha. Keeh kuraanee dho mee aharumen ge noosveringe fenvaru !

  3. this is funny, maldivain are after all more stupid than a poor African country, i hope sheikh fareed dose not use this as an opportunity as some kinda curse from god due to mobile related sins ( mobile sex)

  4. Yet we see these news outlets as respectable sources for other news.

  5. I'm very surprised that Mainstream media reported this obvious nonsense as fact.

    Are these same media people who demand 'rights' over ethics and responsibility?

  6. action must be taken against the irresponsible media that made false reports


    Infact TVM said that it was a hoax and people should not be concerned about it.

    the only thing here is, as USUAL its minivannews and their journalism, its painful to see this happening over and over again, reporting issues that never happened.

  8. hihi. this shows the standarded of the people who claim to have learn alot, developed alot in the previous regime, and besides that, 90% of the population is politicians and yet they tend to believe it. And i ve not heard a single media reporting it as a fact. The people of Maldives are so crazy..............

  9. This is truly outrageous! This is not a joke either!

    Mainstream media today is becoming a heavy burden on the public and a some media are playing pathetic jokes on them! But the public do not want jokes!

    As a general public, I would rather demand MEDIA to be healthy wealthy and wise. And, they be given any subsidy for sustenance when and if need arise!

    It is not surprising that on some FM radio programs, there are some Local Presenters who do not know their MOTHER TONGUE!

    One night, I was listening to an FM radio program where a female presenter was talking about "the goat that jumped the fence" which in local language is about "lovers ditching".

    The lady was saying "eh fulhahmathin funmaali bakashi aneh fulhahmathin ves funmaalaane dho". And repeatedly she was saying this over and over again every now and then!

    In dhivehi "Bakari" mean goat. But "Bakashi" is referred to as "bastard" in English language. So can you imagine!
    Such is the reality of some of our mainstream media! Well! If she was referring this to a probable lover who ditched her! It is a different story then and if so, I am sorry! I misunderstood!

    The reality here is that that mainstream media should have looked into the reality before reporting a news like this!

    Worst of facts is that: Since yesterday morning, this has been in circulation. However due to some pathetic reason, our mainstream communication companies DHIRAAGU or WATANIYA somehow failed to have been AWARE of this!

    It is of opinion that the CITIZEN'S MAJLIS immediately suspend the legislation of subsidies to Media that fail to mislead the public and let healthy MEDIA have any benefit!

    Also the government take immediate action against DHIRAAGU and WATANIYA for not having taken any action to report the impossibility of such an action as this through their communication systems!

    The Communication Ministry also must take equal responsibility as DHIRAAGU or WATANIYA!

  10. This is a great example of how little actual journalism is involved in the mainstream Maldivian media.

    I believe this flowchart is representative of how a news story gets on the air:

    "Hey have you heard this about this?" -> "LETS AIR THAT ****!"

  11. If it originated in Afgan in 2007 how could it resurface in india a year before (2006)?
    anyway, i had to punch couple of credulous minds too over this obvious nonesense!
    not a nerve of skepticism and rational thinking! i hope i will not be regarded as heathen by saying: This IS the result of deliberate dumbing down of people with stories of ghosts, jinns and other metaphysical stuff.

  12. and i would not be surprized if the text was kickstarted by a Dhiraagu staff. imagine howmany texts were sent! its not big money but hypothesis is valid.

  13. heehehe naw we very afraid of phone calls?better be afraid what really happend in Male roads!drugs,crime and collapce of health system it is real threat for Maldives,not carbon or red phone calls or Ninja Turtles hehehe

  14. Hahaha.....Now the prank is in KENYA!!People are so worried and they keep on calling one another informing them of the news yet all of them say they haven't seen anyone dying!!!!!!

  15. Its true,this virus stuff is becoming a dread in kenya but the funniest thing is that no one has recieved such a call but its all over,the rumours or myths or whatever they are says you should not pick calls from even private it technically possible?

  16. should hear kenyans discussing 'the call from hell'!! in the 21st Century, people should not be lied to this way. Is the homo sapien still in need of more evolution? Hehehe...

  17. Its absurd that most kenyans av peculiar habits on spreading baseles rumors many believe in this myths 2day alot of kenyans were alarmed abaut this av logical day!


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