Home Archive 112 No Signal Mobile Phone Call Diverts to Satellite Hoax

112 No Signal Mobile Phone Call Diverts to Satellite Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email claims that dialling 112 on a mobile phone will divert to a satellite signal and reach emergency services even if no signal is available.


Status:
False

Example:
Subject: Information regarding the Underground

Dear All

FYI

If you travel to work on the tube please note the following information:

If your mobile phone has no signal (if you are in a tunnel) you can dial 112 and it will divert to a satellite signal and this puts you through to the 999 Call Centre.

All phone companies have signed up and as it is a satellite service It also gives them a trace to you if you do not know where you are.

Please forward to people you know.



Detailed Analysis:
This widely circulating email contains misinformation and should not be taken seriously. The message claims that dialling the emergency number 112 on a mobile phone will get through to emergency services even if there is no signal available. According to the email, a call to 112 “will be diverted to a satellite signal” in areas where there is no signal such as the London Underground train system. However, these claims are completely unfounded. A press release on the Transport for London website dismisses the message as a “misleading spam e-mail”.

The press release quotes a London Underground spokesperson as follows:

This e-mail is incorrect. The 112 number does link people through to 999, but it only works if you have a signal on your mobile phone. If you have no signal bars on your phone, it will not work.

It will not divert to a satellite signal.

Even if a traveller did have a real satellite phone, it would be extremely unlikely to work in an underground train system because such phones need a clear line of site to the satellite. The ROCOM website notes that

All satellite telephones require line of sight. This means that the antenna of the satellite phone must be placed outside with a clear view to the satellite.

112 is a real emergency number and will link GSM mobile phone network users to emergency services in some parts of the world. In the European Union, 112 is the standard emergency telephone number. In some other areas, dialling 112 will automatically divert the call to a local emergency number. However, as with any other mobile phone call, a signal must be available before the call can succeed.

If you receive this email please do not forward it to others. Perpetrating the false information the message contains could ultimately lead to confusion and dangerous diversion during a real emergency situation. The message should be deleted.

If you receive this email please do not forward it to others. Perpetrating the false information the message contains could ultimately lead to confusion and dangerous diversion during a real emergency situation. The message should be deleted.


References
Mobile Phone Guide
1-1-2 Wikipedia
SOS 112 Europe

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer