Android users face glitch which sees phones 'silent call' 999

Warning to Android users over glitch which sees their phone accidentally ‘silent call’ 999

  • UK police forces have received more than 1,000 silent calls over the last month
  • Police chiefs claim a new SOS Android feature is the cause of accidental calls
  • Google is aware of the issue and it will be addressed shortly, reports say

Police chiefs have warned a new Android feature is triggering a wave of accidental 999 calls.

Control rooms have reported a surge in ‘silent calls’ since a new SOS emergency function was rolled out on Android.

It allows users to call 999 by pressing the power button five times or more. 

But authorities claim the feature means many users are unknowingly pocket-dialling, overwhelming call operators with no response on the line.  

‘Nationally, all emergency services are currently experiencing record high 999 call volumes,’ the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) said.

Police chiefs claim a new SOS Android feature is the cause of accidental silent calls 

‘There’s a few reasons for this but one we think is having a significant impact is an update to Android smartphones. 

‘These “silent calls” as they are named, are directed to police control rooms and the result has been a significant increase in silent calls.’ 

Police Scotland, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Metropolitan Police are among numerous forces which have reported an influx in these calls. 

Last Sunday, just under 170 silent calls were made to the Devon and Cornwall force alone – with the rate soaring by 25 per cent over the past month.

Meanwhile, call-handlers at Northamptonshire Police also received more than 1,000 of these calls last month, ITVX reported.

But this issue goes beyond the UK, as the  European Emergency Number Agency (EENA) raised the alarm just a few weeks ago.

Executive Director, Gary Machado, wrote: ‘Both Google and Samsung are aware of the matter and are releasing updates which are being rolled out now or very soon and until the end of June. 

‘EENA hopes to see a decrease in the number of automatic false calls shortly and strongly encourages our members to share their own experiences on the matter.’

Police Scotland, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Metropolitan Police (pictured) are among the numerous forces which have reported an influx in these calls


If you continue to experience this issue, Google suggests that Android owners can switch off the SOS setting.

To do so, users can head to their ‘Settings’ menu before tapping on ‘Safety and Emergency’.

Here, an ‘Emergency SOS’ feature should be visible, which can be switched off using the slide tool.

However, the tech giant assured MailOnline the issue would be resolved shortly. 

Keeping Android users safe and public safety infrastructure available are top priorities,’ a Google spokesman said.

‘Android supports Emergency SOS because it can help users contact 911 more quickly in emergency situations.

‘To help these manufacturers prevent unintentional emergency calls on their devices, Android is providing them with additional guidance and resources. 

‘We anticipate device manufacturers will roll out updates to their users that address this issue shortly. Users that continue to experience this issue should contact their device’s manufacturer.’

Even still, anyone who accidentally calls 999 is urged to speak to police anyway to make it clear they are not in trouble.

The NPCC continued: ‘Calls to 999 where the operator cannot hear anyone on the line (silent calls) are never just ignored. Call handlers will then need to spend valuable time trying to call you back to check whether you need help.

‘If you do accidentally dial 999, please don’t hang up. If possible, please stay on the line and let the operator know it was an accident and that you don’t need any assistance.’ 

READ MORE: Delete this app NOW: Popular Android app is secretly SPYING on users – what to do if you have it installed

Cybersecurity experts have warned that a popular Android app is secretly spying on users as part of a potential espionage campaign.

Phone owners have been urged to delete a malicious app known as iRecorder after it was found to subtly steal files, web information and even pictures.

The unsuspecting screen-recorder even makes use of a phone’s microphone every 15 minutes, taking a snippet of audio for unknown purposes.

This malware, discovered by ESET, did not come as part of the app when it launched in 2021.

Instead, attackers took a more unusual approach, with harmful features cropping up nearly a year later, in what may have been disguised as a typical update.

Google has now removed this and Apple devices are unaffected, but iRecorder is still available to download from alternative Android markets

Source: Read Full Article