[The piece below is a work of satire. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.]
Customers of telecom provider Jazz from all over Pakistan have reported receiving SMSs from a woman named Esra claiming to be from ‘Ertugral’ and asking for 50 rupees balance.
“I am Esra from Ertugral. Please give me Rs 50 load, baad mai wapis kar doun gi,” read the message that Jazz customers received en masse. What has followed is mass confusion among Jazz users.
“When I first got the message from Esra, I wracked by brain thinking about any Esra’s I might possibly know. I could think of no one other than the Turkish Esra who I am Instagram friends with,” said Yawar Bhatti, a 42-year-old banker and father of two from Lahore.
“At first I was about to respond, but then I remembered I was angry at her for wearing too much revealing clothes on Instagram,” said Ahmad Mehmood, a 36-year-old software developer from Islamabad. “Then I decided to send it anyways and call her to have a chat.”
According to details, the number from which the SMS came has still not picked up any of Mehmood’s calls.
The message was followed up by other identical messages, and sometimes by variations, in which details would change but the request for Rs 50 would remain the same.
“I am Halima from Ertugral. Please give me Rs 50 load I need it to escape from Templars thanks. Will return soon,” read another message that also hit a number of customers.