Feeds

Nigeria - the land where phone numbers can kill

Dial 419 for Murder?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Thanks very much to the scores of readers who emailed to alert us to the extraordinary story of Nigerian "killer phone numbers".

The BBC reports that panic is sweeping through Lagos because the highly superstitious population has got it into their heads that if you answer a call from certain numbers, you will simply drop dead on the spot.

The latest tsunami of fear follows a similar wave of panic a few years back provoked by the rumour that "a handshake could cause sexual organs to disappear". Remarkable.

We wonder though, if the 419ers haven't got a hand in this latest round of hysteria. After all, we reported just yesterday that one advance fee fraud outfit has set itself up as "INTERNATIONAL ASSASINATORS AND WORLD SECURITY ORGANISATIONS" and is sending out emails threatening to rub out anyone who doesn't cough up $40k immediately.

And what better way to ice your victims than with a quick call to their mobile? Mind you, when our team rang UK-based 419er James Cole on his mobile a couple of weeks back as part of our investigation into the so-called "United Mercantile Credit & Investment Bank", he spectacularly failed to kick the bucket as a result. We can only conclude that either Cole is not a superstitious man, or the Vulture Central phone number does not contain the required lethal combination of digits. Which is a shame, either way.

We have, however, identified one number which is certain to cause at best palpitations and dizziness, and at worst spontaneous cardiac arrest. It's that used by your credit card company to call you when you have seriously exceeded your credit limit after a particularly ill-advised bout of fiscal profligacy. ®

Related stories

419ers morph into Murder Incorporated
Anatomy of a 419 scam
Cosmic 419er lost in space

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?