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Dial 112 Hoax Debunked

What would you do if you were in an emergency situation? Many people would try to dial #911, #999, or their local emergency services number for their country, but what if that wasn’t a possibility? Could it be possible to evade a serial killer or a rapist by dialing #112 instead – even if there is no cellular signal available? The story is that if you dial this number, the signal from a cell phone will become a satellite signal so emergency services can be contacted. Although the idea is good, the problem is that this is just another hoax.

What Does Dialing #112 Actually Do?

If you dial #112 in certain parts of the world, you actually will reach emergency services. This is true throughout the European Union. If you happen to be traveling in the EU and decide to experiment with this, you will get some very disgruntled emergency service personnel in the best case scenario for an outcome. At worst, you may be fined for calling an emergency number under false pretenses. There needs to be a cellular signal for this call to be placed.

Some of the stories involving the dial #112 hoax say that people can even use this system while traveling underground, like in a subway. Even if the signal could be diverted to a satellite signal when no cellular service is available, the likelihood that a satellite signal could get through is remote at best. People can dial #112 even in the UK to reach their #999 emergency services number, but it isn’t going to work unless there’s some sort of a connection.

Why Perpetrate a Hoax Like This?

The dial #112 hoax is ironically a lot like the old game of “Telephone” that kids would play in school sometimes to pass the time. A message is given to the first person in line and then passed on down the line, one by one, until it reaches the last person in line. The message is generally not the same at the end of the line then at the start of the line. The origins of this hoax were likely a story that showed how #112 linked to the UK’s #999 services and then evolved on from there.

This also works in the United States and Canada. Dialing #112 on a cell phone is converted into a #911 call and then proceeds from there – if the process to transfer the call has been installed at the regional level. Sometimes the call will not go through. When it does, the actual conversation with emergency services is delayed because the call has to be transitioned to the #911 number instead.

So is the dial #112 a 100% hoax? Not really, because it will allow someone to speak with emergency services. In that way, it could help someone when they are trying to avoid becoming the victim of a crime. The idea that this number can be reached when there is no cellular signal or that it can become a satellite call, however, is 100% a hoax.