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If you get a call asking you to dial 112, police say DON’T DO IT

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MILWAUKEE (WITI/AP) — Police in southeastern Wisconsin are warning residents of a scam that causes them to call 911 unintentionally. Police Chief Ed Flynn says his department has taken "dozens" of 911 calls since 8 a.m. Friday, April 11th.

Flynn says callers are responding to texts and recorded phone calls telling them there's a problem with their debit or credit cards. The messages advise them to press 1 or dial 112 -- but when they do, they're actually calling 911.

"We just started getting a lot of calls with people saying 'gosh, why am I on 911? I got this message,'" said Chief Flynn.

Flynn says it's unclear whether the scammer is trying to overwhelm the emergency system, or somehow make money through unauthorized charges. Either way, he says anyone who receives such a message should ignore it and not press any buttons.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says it's had to add staff to handle the amount of calls it's getting.

"Obviously if this happens too much it's going to delay our response to genuine emergencies," said Chief Flynn.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, as of 12 p.m., the Waukesha County Communications Center had taken approximately 150 of these types of calls. Officials say calls into WCC have been steady, but the system is not overwhelmed, and real emergency calls are still coming in on the 911 lines appropriately.

"We're in the process of trying to understand if someone is trying to take down the 911 system or if someone has a scam that somehow enriches them by getting you to call our number," said Chief Flynn.

Officials say they believe the FBI and other governmental entities are working on the issue.

AT&T released a statement Friday evening regarding the scam, reading: It is important to note that customers of any carrier can be targeted by this or similar scams. What AT&T recommends to our customers is that they never provide personal information in response to incoming calls or text messages.

This scam is affecting mobile customers in the Southeast Wisconsin areas, including Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties at this time.

 

8 comments

  • josephsuchorski

    It’s not just cell phones getting these calls. We got one on the Home Phone Today left on our Answering Machine. We did not fall for it though. You have to get up pretty early in the Morning to try to pull the wool over the eyes of this Polish Person. Contrary to what people say, Polish People are not as Dumb as people say or think.

  • Danielle

    I recieved a call from 112 and it came up as an Emergency Call. I missed it, so i called back and it took me to 911…they also did not leave a message.

  • Pam f

    I got that call and also a guy telling me something is wrong with my computer. Also called a friend who doesn’t have a computer or a credit card

  • Burt L

    I just got this call 8:20am 4/12/14. “You’re account has been locked, please press 1 to continue”

  • F

    Out of curiosity what shows up on “caller ID”? I had a call last nite that showed “URGENT” on caller ID…no message left on answering machine…

  • Ann O'Keefe

    My sister got this type of call too. She didn’t answer it and let it go to voicemail. When she listened to the message the first thing she did was to call her bank and verify if her card had been cancelled or not. The bank said that her card and bank account was fine. She didn’t call the number that was left in the message.

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