Mobile service providers in Pakistan have been inundated by calls from subscribers worried by a prank message that they could die of a deadly virus being transmitted via their phones.
The rumour was so effective that some mosques in the country's biggest city, Karachi, made announcements that people were being killed by a mobile virus and they should be aware of God's wrath.
In a prank reminiscent of the plot in the hit Hollywood movie The Ring in which people die within a week after watching a video, the prankster warned users that a deadly virus transmitted through phones had killed 20 people.
There are more than 52 million mobile users among 160 million people in Pakistan.
Farah Hussain, a spokeswoman for Warid Telecom, said that their customer service centers had been inundated with panicky subscribers inquiring about the so-called virus.
The cellular operators moved to calm down subscribers and said in a joint statement: "These rumors are completely baseless. They do not make any sense in technological terms."