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Man's phone number goes to the dogs

HOAX: Mr Tan's mobile-phone number appeared in a prank message asking people to adopt pedigree dogs.


    Oct 13, 2014

    Man's phone number goes to the dogs


    HE SELLS home appliances for a living. But many thought Malaysian salesman Sam Tan had pure-bred dogs - lots of them - up for grabs too.

    The Malaysian's mobile phone has been bombarded with messages for the last two weeks, after his number appeared in a prank message asking people to adopt pedigree canines free of charge. The dogs had supposedly been rescued from a "dog slaughterhouse".

    His ordeal began when people started contacting him after the message went viral.

    "Initially, I replied, thinking they got the wrong number. After a day, my handphone was flooded endlessly with messages," said Mr Tan, 28.

    He estimated that he received thousands of messages via SMS, WhatsApp, WeChat and other chat services.

    "It was unbelievable. I can't use the phone now," he said.

    Thankfully, Mr Tan has a backup phone with a different line.

    The Facebook page of Malaysian Independent Animal Rescue said the message was a hoax.

    Mr Tan said: "I think someone who dislikes me started it. The message stated that people should contact my phone number before Oct 15, so I hope I'll be able to use the number again after that." He did not intend to report the matter to the police.

    In Penang, college student Kok Ai Wei, 20, received the message on WhatsApp and tried to call Mr Tan's number on Saturday.

    "I was shocked to hear about the slaughterhouse. But I was also excited about the chance to adopt a husky or a poodle. But when I called, a computerised message said the voicemail was full," he said.

    Teacher J. Y. Shen also received the message, but was not fooled. "The chance to adopt prized pedigrees for free? A dog slaughterhouse? Come on!" the 40-year-old said.