For a country technologically advanced enough to clog my inbox with offers of untold wealth as long as I reply with my Social Security number, a surprising number of Nigerians actually think that they can receive a demonic phone call that will kill them instantly upon answering.
According to the BBC, a series of widely circulating viral text messages warn that several people have already died when they picked up calls from ID 09141. The outcries have gotten to the point that Nigerian officials have had to reassure the public, that no, in fact, simply answering a phone call will not kill you dead — a la The Ring.
“Technically, it is not possible for such a thing to happen. It is therefore unimaginable that somebody will die while receiving a call,” Nigerian Communications Commission spokesman Reuben Muoka said. “It is only very gullible people that will believe such a rumour.”
So who’s to blame exacerbating this situation? The country’s low education rate? Its people’s deeply-held superstitions? Internet Scammers? No matter the culprit, the Nigerian people would do well to screen their calls, just in case.