Expat prank-called after phone number appears in Samsung advert

Mobile giant says UAE number was not in use before Galaxy S4 Zoom ad ran

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
The number on the ad of Samsung S4 is owned by an expatriate from Bangadesh living in Abu Dhabi.
08 Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A Bangladeshi expat said he has been receiving prank calls after his mobile phone number appeared as the mock number in an ad for a new Samsung handset.

Noor-ul-Islam, a driver for a family in Abu Dhabi, said he receives one or two calls a day asking for “Omar,” the name of the caller in the Galaxy S4 Zoom ad.

The ad has been running for weeks in UAE newspapers, magazines and outdoor signs.

The number, displayed on the incoming call screen featured in the ad, is in use by Noor-ul-Islam.

A Samsung official told Gulf News the number was tested and “did not exist” before the ad ran, adding they have apologised for any inconvenience.

“Almost daily teenagers call me: ‘Hi, Omar!’ or ‘How’s it going, Omar?’” said Noor-ul-Islam.

“It’s ok, no problem. I’m not angry, it’s just a simple mistake. And I know the kids are just playing around. I say ‘hi’ back and tell them it’s not Omar. They hang up or I hang up after that. Each time it’s a different caller, mostly teens.”

The father-of-three added that he is yet to see the ad.

Noor-ul-Islam said has been using the number for three years, given to him by a member of the family he works for, he said.

Meanwhile, the creative for any future ads have been amended, said Hayssam Yassine, head of telecommunications group at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

“It has been brought to our attention that the GALAXY S4 Zoom advertisement currently running across the UAE features an active telephone number of someone based in the UAE,” he said in a statement.

“When developing advertisements where a mock telephone number is featured, to the best of our knowledge, we ensure that these numbers are out of use.

“Before the advertisement was approved we tested the number and found that the number did not exist. Upon finding out that the number is now in use, we have been in contact with the individual and apologised for the inconvenience caused.

“We have also amended the creative for any advertisements that we may use in the future.”



Latest Comment

I totally agree with the comments here. The error is very unprofessionaland could easily have been avoided by calling the phone carriers in theUAE to double check the number. I too hope that the poor guy is beingcompensated for his time and inconvenience. Everyone knows how annoyingthis must have been.


27 July 2013 17:40jump to comments