KUSA – The Parker Police Department had to issue a warning Thursday about the phenomenon of so-called “hooligans” saying “Siri 108” into their phones after it happened twice in two days.
Saying “Siri 108” automatically dials 911 and happens because the number “108” is used to dial emergency services in India, and is the equivalent of dialing emergency services in the U.S.
The “Siri 108” prank isn’t new. USA TODAY reported about why you shouldn’t do it more than a year ago, and police departments across the country have issued warnings ever since.
Posts about prank tell iPhone users to say "108" and close their eyes. That's because the phones give a five-second countdown where people can press cancel in case the calls to 911 were an accident.
Josh Hans, the spokesperson for Parker police, said this local department was inspired to issue a warning due to two recent incidents. The first happened on Tuesday, but there wasn’t really a cause for concern until it happened again on Wednesday, when an officer actually responded to the “Siri 108” caller. The cop talked to the caller's father.
This is a problem, according to Hans, because it ties up police resources on non-issues instead of true emergencies.
And, of course, if you’re the type of person who would prank call emergency services, Hans said you probably wouldn’t want a cop to show up where you are anyway.
But what should you do if you do accidentally dial 911 (or inadvertently say “108” while Siri’s listening)?
“It takes a lot more resources if you hang up than if you just stay on the line and say it’s the wrong number,” Hans said.
In drastic situations, prank calling 911 could lead to a potential charge for false reporting of an emergency. This is a new piece of legislation that arose due to an uptick in swatting calls, Hans said.
Swatting is the practice of prank calling emergency services in an effort to bring a large police presence to a certain location.