Hoax 999 calls do not charge phones, police warn

Hoax 999 calls do not charge phones, police warn

Hoax 999 calls do not charge phones, police warn

First published in News
Last updated

BLACKBERRY users fooled by a bogus claim that calling 999 and hanging up will charge their phones could be putting people's lives in danger.

In an attempt to dispel the myth that dialling 999 can boost battery life, West Mercia Police have issued a warning to Blackberry mobile phone users.

A spokesman for the service said: “Hoax 999 of any kind are very dangerous. They divert much needed resources that should be deployed to potentially life threatening situations or where a serious crime is in progress.

“Even when the caller hangs up on an 999 call, it is considered abandoned. Both our officers and staff will do everything they can to locate and identify the caller to ensure the caller is not at risk of any harm.

“The only way to keep your Blackberry from running out of battery is to charge it”.

Silent or aborted 999 calls are always investigated to make sure the caller was not in any danger, wasting resources which would otherwise be used on callers in need of immediate or emergency help.

Misusing the 999 number is a criminal offence and police also have the power to disconnect mobile phones which have been used to make hoax 999 calls.

Comments (13)

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8:55am Thu 24 Jul 14

CJH says...

Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?
Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work? CJH
  • Score: 14

9:57am Thu 24 Jul 14

MrWXYZ says...

CJH wrote:
Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?
To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?[/p][/quote]To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone MrWXYZ
  • Score: 5

10:23am Thu 24 Jul 14

Tobster says...

I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place!
I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place! Tobster
  • Score: 9

10:24am Thu 24 Jul 14

Hwicce says...

MrWXYZ wrote:
CJH wrote:
Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?
To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone
The average intelligence of the population would rise significantly.
[quote][p][bold]MrWXYZ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?[/p][/quote]To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone[/p][/quote]The average intelligence of the population would rise significantly. Hwicce
  • Score: 5

11:21am Thu 24 Jul 14

liketoknow says...

planks. 2 thick ones
planks. 2 thick ones liketoknow
  • Score: 1

11:36am Thu 24 Jul 14

mrwrighty says...

You are right, it will not charge the phone, but the Police will charge the owner.
You are right, it will not charge the phone, but the Police will charge the owner. mrwrighty
  • Score: 8

12:15pm Thu 24 Jul 14

CJH says...

MrWXYZ wrote:
CJH wrote:
Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?
To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone
It's tempting to tell them though, isn't it? But also very,very wrong. ;-)
[quote][p][bold]MrWXYZ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: Why would anyone think that this would work? Or HOW did they think it would work?[/p][/quote]To rephrase the old saying it makes you wonder what would happen if people were told jumping off a cliff would charge your phone[/p][/quote]It's tempting to tell them though, isn't it? But also very,very wrong. ;-) CJH
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Thu 24 Jul 14

pinkfluff says...

Tobster wrote:
I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place!
How rude! I have a BlackBerry and no I would not try to charge it but calling 999, surely the call would deplete the battery, common sense told me so.
[quote][p][bold]Tobster[/bold] wrote: I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place![/p][/quote]How rude! I have a BlackBerry and no I would not try to charge it but calling 999, surely the call would deplete the battery, common sense told me so. pinkfluff
  • Score: -4

7:38pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Chronos says...

I may be wrong, but I believe this myth started because of a misconception with regard to dialling 999 from a mobile phone.

What actually happens inside your phone when you dial 999 is that the output strength of the signal is boosted by about three times. This, in conjunction with the fact that a 999 call will be detected by the nearest cell receiver of any network (regardless of what network you subscribe to), obviously makes it more likely that a 999 call will be connected successfully.

My theory is that this automatic increased output 'power' of a mobile when dialling 999 is what has lead to the confusion.

The irony here, of course, is that by dialling 999 the increased output strength of the signal will actually drain your phone's battery more quickly!
I may be wrong, but I believe this myth started because of a misconception with regard to dialling 999 from a mobile phone. What actually happens inside your phone when you dial 999 is that the output strength of the signal is boosted by about three times. This, in conjunction with the fact that a 999 call will be detected by the nearest cell receiver of any network (regardless of what network you subscribe to), obviously makes it more likely that a 999 call will be connected successfully. My theory is that this automatic increased output 'power' of a mobile when dialling 999 is what has lead to the confusion. The irony here, of course, is that by dialling 999 the increased output strength of the signal will actually drain your phone's battery more quickly! Chronos
  • Score: 2

9:39pm Thu 24 Jul 14

DarrenM says...

Silent 999 calls are not always investigated they pass through a Met developed system called "Silent Solutions" designed to weed out mobile "pocket dials"

There are several cases when people who have been abducted have made silent calls with no response and a tragic outcome....

Incidentally I see Worst Farcia are in the National Press again over yet another allegation of misconduct this time regarding an inappropriate relationship with an Octogenarian. Yet again strangely no coverage in the Evening News..........
Silent 999 calls are not always investigated they pass through a Met developed system called "Silent Solutions" designed to weed out mobile "pocket dials" There are several cases when people who have been abducted have made silent calls with no response and a tragic outcome.... Incidentally I see Worst Farcia are in the National Press again over yet another allegation of misconduct this time regarding an inappropriate relationship with an Octogenarian. Yet again strangely no coverage in the Evening News.......... DarrenM
  • Score: -2

9:26am Fri 25 Jul 14

Andy-Apache says...

Nikola Tesla suggested wireless power transmission on large scale is possible, but ran out of money (again!) before he could put such a prototype system in place.

Perhaps the police have developed his technology and are transmitting power to charge phones via the cells? ;-)
Nikola Tesla suggested wireless power transmission on large scale is possible, but ran out of money (again!) before he could put such a prototype system in place. Perhaps the police have developed his technology and are transmitting power to charge phones via the cells? ;-) Andy-Apache
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Perfman says...

Tobster wrote:
I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place!
Try not being a moron sometime, you might be surprised! Some companies still give out Blackberry's giving one no choice in the matter!
[quote][p][bold]Tobster[/bold] wrote: I'm not suprised Blackberry owners would believe this, considering how stupid you have to be to buy one in the first place![/p][/quote]Try not being a moron sometime, you might be surprised! Some companies still give out Blackberry's giving one no choice in the matter! Perfman
  • Score: -2

7:24pm Sat 26 Jul 14

DarrenM says...

Chronos wrote:
I may be wrong, but I believe this myth started because of a misconception with regard to dialling 999 from a mobile phone.

What actually happens inside your phone when you dial 999 is that the output strength of the signal is boosted by about three times. This, in conjunction with the fact that a 999 call will be detected by the nearest cell receiver of any network (regardless of what network you subscribe to), obviously makes it more likely that a 999 call will be connected successfully.

My theory is that this automatic increased output 'power' of a mobile when dialling 999 is what has lead to the confusion.

The irony here, of course, is that by dialling 999 the increased output strength of the signal will actually drain your phone's battery more quickly!
Myth 1) - it doesn't "boost the signal output" , the phone output signal is only boosted when there is no signal - otherwise it obeys the network settings. The phone does drop some signalling information to make the call setup quicker,

Myth 2) you can't make a 999 call on a mobile phone without a sim card (although the GSM spec allows for it) because although its free for the end user, its not free for the carrier, and no-one wants to carry the cost, they're all too busy giving your call metadata to GCHQ.

Myth 3) It roams on to other networks if you don't have a signal - no it doesn't for the same reasons as myth 2.
[quote][p][bold]Chronos[/bold] wrote: I may be wrong, but I believe this myth started because of a misconception with regard to dialling 999 from a mobile phone. What actually happens inside your phone when you dial 999 is that the output strength of the signal is boosted by about three times. This, in conjunction with the fact that a 999 call will be detected by the nearest cell receiver of any network (regardless of what network you subscribe to), obviously makes it more likely that a 999 call will be connected successfully. My theory is that this automatic increased output 'power' of a mobile when dialling 999 is what has lead to the confusion. The irony here, of course, is that by dialling 999 the increased output strength of the signal will actually drain your phone's battery more quickly![/p][/quote]Myth 1) - it doesn't "boost the signal output" , the phone output signal is only boosted when there is no signal - otherwise it obeys the network settings. The phone does drop some signalling information to make the call setup quicker, Myth 2) you can't make a 999 call on a mobile phone without a sim card (although the GSM spec allows for it) because although its free for the end user, its not free for the carrier, and no-one wants to carry the cost, they're all too busy giving your call metadata to GCHQ. Myth 3) It roams on to other networks if you don't have a signal - no it doesn't for the same reasons as myth 2. DarrenM
  • Score: 3

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