Apple and the case of the mysterious emergency calls

In Sacramento County and Elk Grove, California, emergency dispatchers are experiencing a flood of fake 911 calls – and the source is nothing other than Elk Grove’s Apple distribution site.

Jamie Hudson, a police dispatcher, said: “We’ve been seeing these calls for the last four months from Apple.”

According to dispatchers, the whole thing started in October last year – and generally there’s nobody on the other end of the line.

Hudson said they knew the calls originated from Apple because their system showed the address from where the call was made.

Elk Grove Police say they get about 20 of these 911 calls from Apple every day – or 1,600 since October. This, Hudson says, could negatively impact real life-and-death operations.

All the calls can be traced back to Apple’s refurbishing and repair centre off Laguna Boulevard. Even worse, the communication centre at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office is getting similar calls, 47 of them so far this year.

Until now Apple, could not pinpoint whether these calls come from iPhones or Apple watches. Both devices can make a 911 call if someone accidentally touches the wrong button.

Apple responded with the following statement: “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.”

While Apple is trying to locate the source of the mysterious emergency calls, police are doing their best to ensure it does not negatively affect their work.

Elk Grove Police Department’s Jason Jimenez said that 911 was a lifeline for every person in their community, so it was vital that all lines remained available and open. He added: “At this point, public safety is not in danger and we are working with Apple to resolve the issue.”


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