Yesterday my bro came to me with a funny story of a red number calling which meant that you die at 1 am or something like that. I grilled him how the number would predict my death and he said he was being nice to the sister.
I laughed and reminded him of the movie one missed call, which had a similar story. He indicated that the story was going on Facebook and I can imagine it has spread very fast. I though it was only him.
But this morning someone raised the issue on a mailinglist and I wondered whether they were serious. Well, it seems am the only one not clued in because the Communications Commission of Kenya has just issued a statement to that effect.
I must say I am impressed by the way CCK has been responding to issues nowadays; from managing price wars to determining dominant player status in the telecoms industry, seems they are alert and I think it can only get better.
It also shows CCK is committed to ensuring the broadcast media exercises caution because it has reacted fast; maybe to cut the fear mongering. Maybe in hot political times, CCK will say that it acts all the times, whether political or otherwise.
Anyway, here is the press release from CCK….
The attention of the Commission has been drawn to SMS and email messages that are doing the rounds in the country warning mobile users against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. The messages further allege that receipt of calls from either the unknown or listed numbers would cause “brain haemorrhage due to high frequency”.
Upon analysis of the messages, the Commission has established the warnings are a hoax generated by unscrupulous people bent on causing fear and despondency among members of the public. The listed numbers are non-existent as mobile, fixed or international calls. In addition, the alleged haemorrhage due to high frequency has no technical basis whatsoever. The Commission, therefore, wishes to urge the public to ignore these messages and go about their business without any fear. The public is also advised to avoid fuelling the fear by transmitting the said messages to friends and family members either through SMS or email forwarding.
The Commission also wishes to call on the media, particularly FM stations, to exercise responsibility and avoid fuelling fear and despondency among Kenyans by dwelling on these baseless rumours.
We further wish to warn the originators of these messages that they are in breach of the law (i.e. Section 29 of the Kenya Communications Act, 1998). The Commission is already in contact with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book.