"Prank Calls" For Web Series' Promotion Scare Several Mumbai Residents

Mumbai Police started getting calls from people in the afternoon about strange calls (Representational)


A promotional "prank'' by an online streaming platform confounded several residents of Mumbai on Friday, leading to a slew of calls to the police control room.

Late in the evening, the cyber cell of Maharashtra police said it had asked Sony LIV, the streaming service, to stop the promotional activity.

The main control room of Mumbai Police started getting calls from people in the afternoon that they had received strange calls from numbers starting with 140 or 40.

Vaibhav Pawar, who owns an advertising agency, said around 4 pm a man who identified himself as "Rishi'' called him, begging for help and saying that he had witnessed a murder and recorded the incident on mobile phone. The killer was now trying to kill him, "Rishi'' said.

Many others received similar calls, not realising that it was a gimmick to promote Sony LIV's new series "Undekhi''. Some also tweeted about it, tagging the Mumbai Police's Twitter handle.

In reply, Mumbai Police tweeted, "Please do not share any sensitive details over a call and visit the nearest police station for further support."

Finally, Sony LIV tweeted that it was a promotional activity.

"If you have received a call for our show...and it has disturbed you, we would like to sincerely apologise to you. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally," it said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)