Asking Apple’s voice-assistant Siri to say ‘108’ can land you, and others, in big trouble, law enforcement agencies are warning iPhone users across the U.S.
108 is India’s emergency number equivalent to 911 in the U.S. When users say that number to Siri, it mistakenly believes that you are trying to make an emergency call and will connect you with 911.
The warnings have come following a viral prank on social media, with many encouraging their friends and followers to say, ‘Hey Siri, 108’ to see what the command does.
Police authorities are now roping in social media to urge iPhone users not to test the ‘108’ command and waste emergency personnel’s time.
“The command, in fact, will instruct Siri to call emergency services, which could potentially tie up emergency lines,” read the Facebook page of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.
The Facebook page for the police department in Lewistown, Pa., asked people to not fall prey to this prank: “Please don’t do this and talk to your kids to let them know that it is not something they should do either. If 9-1-1 operators are trying to answer these calls, that means that a real emergency call might not be answered as quickly as it needs to be answered.”
The virtual assistant gives users a five second window to cancel or make the emergency call.
The Lewistown police’s post added that if an accidental call is made to 911, “please don't immediately hang up the phone. It’s better to stay on the line and tell the 9-1-1 operator what happened. Otherwise, they will be trying to call you back or send an officer out to check that everything is OK there.”