A prank that has gone viral has sent several police departments in US into a tizzy. The social media campaign that has spread like wildfire urges iPhone users to say the number 108 to Siri just for the heck of it. Although 108 is the emergency services number in India, saying the number to Siri from US transfers the user’s call to 911 – the emergency services number of the United States of America.
As more people fall for the prank, emergency lines have started getting busy. The situation can prove to be dangerous for someone who might be in real need of emergency. Referring to the seriousness of the issue, Marshall Police Department said on its Facebook page, “This prank is problematic because it uses resources that are vital for others trying to receive help in real emergency situations. Roughly 240 million calls are made to 911 in the United States each year and placing prank calls can be considered a crime.”
Trying to dissuade people from playing the prank, Sergeant Adrian Page working with Lonoke Police Department wrote on Facebook, “Don’t fall for it as it ties up emergency lines however, it is designed specifically as a panic code.”
Annapolis Police Department also flagged the issue on its Facebook page saying: “This prank is already spreading among Annapolis teens and has the potential to dangerously tie up 911 phone systems preventing emergency calls from being answered quickly. DON’T FALL FOR THIS PRANK.”
Although the service was designed by Apple to help people in need contact emergency services from anywhere in the world, the recent prank seems to have put people in a tricky situation.