An unknown number of Safaricom subscribers were Monday left scratching their heads after receiving a puzzling message reading “test” delivered through a 44444 shortcode.
The message prompted anxious Safaricom users to reach out to the giant telco for an explanation. In response, Safaricom allayed fears of something sinister, attributing the ‘Test’ message to a system glitch that has since been resolved.
“SMS from the number 44444 came as a result of a system issue that is currently under resolution. Apologies for the inconvenience,” the telecommunications company said.
Another notice from Safaricom read: “Dear Customer, Safaricom would like to sincerely apologize for earlier sending you a test message in error. Kindly ignore it. It was a system-generated error and we have since sorted it out.”
However, before Safaricom clarified the issue, subscribers who received the ‘test’ text trooped to social media to theories about the meaning of the message.
Some thought that by receiving the massage they had inadvertently signed off on the BBI Bill. Others internet users joked that the message was sent to people who have been selected to undergo anal swabs for Covid testing while others claimed it was the antichrist number.
Here are some of those reactions:
About the 44444 text:
Those who have received it are the ones selected for the Anal Covid Test. Be prepared! Good luck.???
— 01_Savic’ (@Sir_Vic01) February 22, 2021
That 44444 ‘test’ text was Cambridge analytica testing their microphone. Campaigns are about to get lit.
— Gamal Jamil (@Gamalbrb) February 22, 2021
This 44444 – Test, is this the new anti-Christ number? Safaricom please guide us we are scared.
— Dennis Okore (@Jasigana254) February 22, 2021
Received a message from 44444? Well, it means Safaricom are with you 4 better, 4 rever, 4 richer, 4 worse and for 4 poor ?
— THE SEASON (@castrofy26) February 22, 2021
Mpka hii text ya 44444 n kama inataka connections ama n ya wale wako madeni Tala ??????
— Jikecosta (@jikecosta) February 22, 2021
Hello @Safaricom_Care @SafaricomPLC. I’ve recieved an anonymous text message from 44444. It’s unsettling that you offer my phone number to third parties without my consent. Kindly explain. pic.twitter.com/bgWibAbrKz
— Sagas (@Tindi_Kip) February 22, 2021
Ama hiyo 44444 is to let us know our Covid Vaccine numbers or is Huduma Namba maneno. pic.twitter.com/dCUYIajip6
— Kukie from HR (@Karey_mwari) February 22, 2021
“About the 44444 text:
Those who have received it are the ones selected for the Anal Covid Test. Be prepared! Good luck.”
WhatsApp tho ??? SMH
— JOEker ☯️ (@JoeWMuchiri1) February 23, 2021
Did you know that the Book of Revelation prophecies receiving a text from 44444 in the last days?
— Fafa Mukuru (@osoroKE) February 22, 2021
@SafaricomPLC are we the chosen ones? Us who’ve recieved texts from 44444. Is this our ticket to heaven?
— Mideva Aluju (@aluju_mideva) February 22, 2021
Did you receive 44444 test message ama hauna connections??
Personally I didn’t
Safaricom says it was a technical hitch
— Egline Samoei (@EguarEglin) February 22, 2021
I called the number . It has all sorts of Safcom offers .
— Sen Mutula KilonzoJR (@SenMutula) February 22, 2021
Satellite monitoring. How to switch off selected numbers
— Makayiemba (@makayiemba) February 22, 2021
Hio ni ya BBI
— Asewe Bin Asewe (@AseweBinAsewe) February 22, 2021
you have passed BBI referendum bill
— Eliud serek (@EliudCheserek) February 23, 2021
I guess it’s only Android users who got a “Test” message from 44444 ??
— Sam Nato ??| אַפְרִיקָה (@SamNato) February 22, 2021
Evil people tu ndio wamepata hiyo message ya 44444
Mend your ways ??
— Kerry ?? (@kerubo_hillary) February 22, 2021
Uko worried umepata text ya 44444 na huna kakitu… Sasa nani atakuibia chwani kutoka mpesa… Credit pia umeokoa… Uko single.. Unafaa kushukuru atleast text imeingia kwa simu yako ???#
— BRIAN TOBY (@__Briantoby) February 22, 2021
— Nyakio ?? (@btfulnyakio) February 22, 2021