Numerous police agencies in the U.S. have issued a warning to iPhone users not to attempt a prank that has recently circulated online involving “Siri,” the Apple smartphone’s assistant.
Among Siri’s various skills is one designed to save lives – but pranksters are trying to trick iPhone users into activating it, and that could have potentially harmful repercussions, authorities say.
Saying, “Hey Siri, 108” will prompt Siri to contact emergency services. The number 108 is India’s equivalent of 911 in the U.S., but Siri will contact the local emergency dispatch based on the cellphone’s location.
A number of tweets prompted police departments across the country to warn about the prank in an effort to keep from further tying up the 911 operators people in crisis rely on:
Tell Siri "108" and see what she says, its hilarious 😂
— Toby Corkran (@tobycorkran78) March 22, 2017
Say "108" to Siri and see the magic. ✨
— Mubashir Mahmood (@mubashirmahmood) March 21, 2017
have you ever said "108" to siri???
— haley (@sweetpealov) March 20, 2017
I just found out you can 3 way FaceTime now 🙌🏽 you just say "108" to Siri and then you can call two people
— loading…. (@_Cverdinboiii) March 17, 2017
After hearing “108,” Siri will start a five second countdown during which the call can be canceled. Others are trying to trick people into not looking at their phones until it is too late:
If You Have An iPhone Just Tell SIRI 108 close your eyes and wait 20 seconds.
Then share what happened
— kamisan (@1kamisan) March 22, 2017
All iPhone users, say 108 to Siri, and close your eyes for five seconds. Thank me later.
— Ryan Schooler (@Schoolsiesss) March 17, 2017
I dare you to say "108" to Siri from your iPhone 📱 and close your eyes 😈
— ceasar toliver (@ceasart55) March 21, 2017
What may seem like a harmless prank to some could have potentially deadly consequences, police warn. Two recent deaths in Texas — including that of a 6-month-old baby — have been blamed on scores of hang up-calls that overwhelmed the 911 system, leaving callers on hold.
Dallas officials have said that since November some T-Mobile customers who have dialed 911 have inadvertently been making additional calls to the emergency number, rather than a single call.
In an effort to spread awareness, police departments in cities across the country are now posting warnings to social media:
— Sioux Falls Police (@siouxfallspd) March 17, 2017
CNN contributed to this story.