Sony Liv under fire for promotional gimmick, Mumbai police issues warning

Updated: Jul 11, 2020, 09:16 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

To promote the series, the OTT platform was making audio calls to viewers, wherein a man in a trembling voice would say that he has witnessed a murder and he will be killed too

Photo used for representational purposes
Photo used for representational purposes

Taking cognizance of the bizarre method used by 'Sony Liv' to promote an upcoming series, Mumbai Police has issued a stern warning to the OTT platform. To promote the series, the OTT platform was making audio calls to viewers, wherein a man in a trembling voice would say that he has witnessed a murder and he will be killed too.

On Friday, many 'Sony Liv' subscribers received such a call and the initial digits of the phone number were 40 or 140. In the 24-second voice call, a man said that he has witnessed a murder and has recorded the incident, and now his life is in danger. The voice call ended with the name of the upcoming series that will stream on the platform.

The call spread panic among people. Many disconnected the calls and immediately approached Mumbai Police. The cops noticed that all the complainants had received calls from the same numbers and found out that these were marketing calls.

Meanwhile, a video surfaced online in which the cops asked people not to accept calls with initial number '40' and '140' as it may be cyber fraud calls that can wipe out their bank balance.

Later, Mumbai Police and Maharashtra Cyber took to Twitter to inform that these are telemarketing calls.

Mumbai Police tweeted, "The era of ‘any publicity is good publicity’ is a passé. Any publicity creating panic amongst citizens and suggesting a threat to their security will be dealt with necessary severity. Hope the fake calls for promotions aren’t bothering you any longer, Mumbaikars"

Maharashtra Cyber tweeted, "There is a video clip doing the rounds on social media of a police constable telling people not to accept calls from numbers starting with +140. We would like to clarify that numbers starting with +140 are telemarketing calls.

In another tweet, it said, "In any case, and in ALL cases, People should NOT share their confidential banking or personal details or OTP with such callers”.

After receiving flak for the promotional gimmick, Sony Liv issued an apology on Twitter to its viewers. It tweeted, "If you have received a call for our show Undekhi & it has disturbed you we would like to sincerely apologise to you. This was a test activity which has gone out accidentally & our intention was not to cause any kind of discomfort or panic. We sincerely regret any inconvenience".

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