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Here’s Why You Should Never Say ‘108’ to Siri

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(iStock / Wachiwit)

Police departments around the country are alerting iPhone users about a bogus new prank that’s making the rounds on social media. Usually worded like, “Say ‘108’ to Siri to hear something funny,” these words will actually prompt your iPhone to immediately dial the emergency number of whatever country they’re in.

When programming the iPhone, Apple set the emergency numbers of each country to automatically dial the appropriate emergency services no matter the country. That means if you are an American in Italy and you say, “Siri, 911” your iPhone will automatically know that it should dial Italy’s emergency service number of 112. It’s actually a pretty handy little bit of code.

The problem is that “108” is the emergency number in several other countries, including India, Armenia, and Greece. So if you say the number to Siri, it will call your local emergency services, tying up their phone lines and preventing actual emergencies from getting the attention they need.

Several police departments are warning criminal charges for spreading this prank on social media. “It could lead to criminal charges such as disorderly conduct,” said police Chief Todd Bashore of East Pennsboro Township, PA. Yikes.

Police departments are also asking users to NOT hang up on emergency services should they accidently get duped by this trick. “Don’t hang up,” Bashore explained. “I would let them know, answer their questions. They’re going to ask what your emergency is, and you need to tell them that you don’t have an emergency.”