• Kyodo

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A bogus message being shared on social media is causing a headache for the National Police Agency, as Twitter users have been tricked into dialing the emergency number 110 in at least 22 prefectures.

The false tip instructs the user to dial 1-1-0 and then touch the call button, which are the steps needed to call the emergency number. But the unsuspecting users believed the tip was supposed to nullify the data communication limit of their smartphones and improving their processing speed, according to an agency representative.

The agency said police in at least 22 prefectures, including Miyagi, Osaka and Fukuoka, received emergency calls from people tricked by the bogus message.

The representative called on smartphone users to be aware of the false information and not to fall for the trick, which “could cause trouble to actual emergency calls.”

The Akita Prefectural Police received 132 emergency calls on Tuesday and callers of 56 of them remained silent and hung up or spoke but acknowledged they called by accident.

The number of mistaken calls was more than four times the last full-year figure for the prefectural police. There were also 27 instances in which the callers hung up before the operator picked up, a prefectural police official said.

The Okinawa Prefectural Police have asked Twitter Inc. to delete tweets that include the tip, police sources said.

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