iPhone Siri prank tricks people into phoning emergency services

Users are being told to say '108' to Apple's digital assistant

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The Independent Tech

A prank designed to trick iPhone users into calling emergency services is currently spreading online.

Owners of Apple products are being encouraged to say ‘108’ to Siri, unaware of the consequences.

As 108 is the equivalent of 999 in India, the digital assistant will recognise it as a command to contact emergency services in the phone user’s local area.

It may appear to be a bit of harmless fun to many, but emergency services are already stretched, and this prank isn’t helping the situation.

What’s more, people caught wasting emergency services' time could also face punishment.

Some pranksters are going a step further by telling users to close their eyes for five seconds after saying ‘108’, as doing so prevents them from seeing what’s happening and stopping the call before it can be connected.

Ongoing technical issues in Texas show what can happen when emergency services are flooded with pointless calls.

A mysterious issue causing T-Mobile handsets to clog up the 911 emergency dispatch system in Dallas with ghost calls has led to the deaths of two people, including a six-month-old child. 

When T-Mobile users in Dallas call 911 and are placed on hold, their phones are automatically making repeated 911 calls, clogging up the lines. These calls register as hang-ups, which operators then have to return, causing further problems. 

The CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, has sent engineers to Dallas to investigate the problem and says they’ll stay there until the problem is fixed.