ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A social media campaign encouraging iPhone users to say the number “108” to Siri as a prank is going viral, and police departments are not amused.
Police say when iPhone users test out the Siri command “just for fun,” they’re actually tying up phone lines at emergency call centers.
“Calling emergency services in five seconds,” is what one will hear if 108 is dialed. And within five seconds, the person will be transferred to 911.
“Don’t fall for it as it ties up emergency lines,” said Sgt. Adrian Page with the Lonoke Police Department in Arkansas in a Facebook post that has gone viral with more than 1,100 shares. “It is designed specifically as a panic code.”
The number 108 is actually the emergency services number in India. As CNET reports, Apple wanted to make it easy for people to contact emergency services from anywhere in the world, so telling Siri any country’s emergency number will connect you to the service for where you are.
For example, you could ask Siri to call 911 if you’re visiting the U.K., and it would dial 999 for local assistance.
Basically, telling Siri to call 108 is NOT a joke, and unless you have a genuine emergency, don’t do it, police say.