AN APPLE refurb facility in California has been identified as the source of a series of mysterious silent calls to the emergency services.
CBS Sacramento reports that emergency dispatchers in Elk Grove and Sacramento County are receiving bogus 911 calls, with Elk Grove tallying 1,600 since last October, normally with no one at the other end, and it's clogging up the system for real emergencies.
The 911 team can see when the caller location is the Apple plant, so they know when one of the 20 or so calls per day comes in.
"The times when it's greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call," police dispatcher Jamie Hudson said.
Fewer calls have been received at Sacramento - just under 50 so far this year, but quite often, dispatchers can hear Apple technicians in the background.
"To them, it sounds like people talking about Apple, or devices or generally about maintenance and repairs," said Sgt. Shaun Hampton.
Apple said: "We're aware of 911 calls originating from our Elk Grove repair and refurbishment facility. We take this seriously and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn't continue."
"911 is a lifeline for everyone in our community, so having these lines open and available is paramount and so getting this problem resolved…" said Jason Jimenez at Elk Grove. "At this point, public safety is not in danger and we are working with Apple to resolve the issue."
In most countries, a SIM isn't necessary to make emergency calls, thanks to a universal agreement for access to 911/112/999 services.
As such, it could be as simple as a pile of phones lying on top of each other with one taking the weight on its buttons. µ
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