Panic At Nigerian ‘Killer Calls’

BBC News, Jul. 19

Nigerian mobile phone users have been anxiously checking who is calling them before answering them in recent days.

A rumour has spread rapidly in the commercial capital, Lagos, that if one answers calls from certain “killer numbers” then one will die immediately.

A BBC reporter says experts and mobile phone operators have been reassuring the public via the media that death cannot result from receiving a call.

He says that in such a superstitious country unfounded rumours are common.

A list of alleged killer numbers has been circulated but no-one is reported to have died from answering the phone.

The BBC’s reporter in Lagos, Sola Odunfa, says that the current scare story is reminiscent of a rumour that spread a few years ago that a handshake could cause sexual organs to disappear.

That rumour turned to tragedy as mobs rounded on people accused of making organs disappear.

Despite the massive public interest, no-one was found to have lost their organs.

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