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Police Warn About Viral 'Siri 108' Prank

| by Jonathan Constante

Police departments across the country have issued a warning about a new prank involving the use of iPhone's Siri.

The prank began circulating throughout social media, primarily Twitter, WGHP reported. Several Twitter users urged other social media users to say a certain phrase to their iPhones and wait for what happens.

"Tell Siri '108' and see what she says, its hilarious," wrote one user.

"Say '108' to Siri and see the magic," wrote another.

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"I just found out you can 3 way FaceTime now you just say '108' to Siri and then you can call two people," wrote another user in an attempt to mislead.

But telling Siri "108" does none of the above. Instead, it prompts Siri to contact emergency services.

Siri will contact whatever local emergency dispatch is closest depending on the location of the device. The number 108 is India's equivalent to 911 in the United States.

When Siri hears "108," it will start a five-second countdown, during which the call can be canceled. Other Twitter users, who were aware of the timer, tried being sneakier with the prank.

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  • "Hold down your home button, tell Siri '108.' Close your eyes and wait," tweeted one user.
  • "If You Have An iPhone Just Tell SIRI 108 close your eyes and wait 20 seconds," tweeted another. "Then share what happened."
  • "All iPhone users, say 108 to Siri, and close your eyes for five seconds," wrote another. "Thank me later."
  • "I dare you to say '108' to Siri from your iPhone and close your eyes," tweeted another user.

The circulation of the mean-spirited trick has prompted police departments across the country to warn citizens about the potential dangers of the prank. In fact, two recent deaths in Texas were tied to a series of hang-up calls that overwhelmed the 911 operative system, leaving callers on hold, the Dallas News reported, according to WGHP.

Marshall Police Department in Wisconsin took to Facebook to spread awareness about the prank and issue a formal warning:

Siri calls 911 when you say '108'

Sorry. The result is a joke, but it's not very fun. Saying 'Hey Siri, 108' will instruct Siri to call emergency services for you. The phone assistant will give users a five second time span to cancel or make the emergency call.

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.

Sources: WGHP, Marshall Police Department/Facebook / Photo credit: iphonedigital/Flickr

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