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Old 14th Aug 2020, 11:00 am   #1
ms660
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Default 999 mystery...?

A mystery to me at least......Police received a 999 call from the next door neighbours land line telephone last night.....the thing is the property is empty....

No sign of a break in.

Could it be "spoofed"?

Lawrence.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 11:44 am   #2
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

More likely 112. Lose wiring shorting out in the breeze, (pulse dialling) or even a rodent nibbling through a cable.

One of the reasons 999 was chosen was to avoid this, so 112 was asking for more false calls, and it is an acknowledged problem.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 11:49 am   #3
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

The CLI could have been spoofed as is the case with most scam calls. Or it could have been a 112 call generated as a result of a line fault. The proverbial "JCB through a cable" could generate hundreds of these calls. The cure IIRC was to run a timer after the digit 2 was received and if further digits arrived before the timer expired the call was assumed to be false and released. 112 would be fine in an all tone dialling environment, but I believe it was a condition of BT's licence that they continued to support loop disconnect dialling, something vintage telephone users are grateful for!

Emergency calls used to be "manually held" which meant that the call could not be cleared until it was released by the operator, so police arriving at the premises could speak over the connection and confirm where the call came from.

There was no CLI in those days so the operator would ask the caller for their number. A second operator would then dial that number and confirm the line was busy. They'd then used the "Trunk Offer" or TKO facility to listen in on the call.

TKO's original use was to enable the operator to offer a trunk call to a busy line.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 11:50 am   #4
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Thanks for the reply, never heard of 112 before so that explanation is a possibility.

EDIT: Post crossed.

Lawrence.

Last edited by ms660; 14th Aug 2020 at 11:56 am.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:01 pm   #5
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

I understand that a lot of people in the UK attempt to call 911 in an emergency. They've probably watched too many American police dramas on TV.

112 is part of the GSM spec, but is also applied to landlines in the EU. No political discussion about that please.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:12 pm   #6
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Just to say that 999 was an assumption on my part, a Police Officer turned up at our house this morning saying that they had received an emergency call that had been traced to next door's landline last night and had I heard anything or did I have an entrance key for that property, to which I replied no and also informed them that the last time I had seen our next door neighbour was when they took him away in an ambulance which would have been before all the virus lockdown stuff kicked in.

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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:14 pm   #7
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
More likely 112. Lose wiring shorting out in the breeze, (pulse dialling) or even a rodent nibbling through a cable.

One of the reasons 999 was chosen was to avoid this, so 112 was asking for more false calls, and it is an acknowledged problem.
Quite possible 999 a couple of years ago I had a 746 with a sticking hand set switch. I pressed the switch a few times rapidly, and was greeted with "Emergency Which Service Do You Require?" I will unplug the phone next time.

Like others I would suspect wind or rodents may be the cause, by shorting the wires 3 or 4 times in quick succession.

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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:29 pm   #8
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

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Originally Posted by Station X View Post
The CLI could have been spoofed as is the case with most scam calls. Or it could have been a 112 call generated as a result of a line fault. The proverbial "JCB through a cable" could generate hundreds of these calls. The cure IIRC was to run a timer after the digit 2 was received and if further digits arrived before the timer expired the call was assumed to be false and released. 112 would be fine in an all tone dialling environment, but I believe it was a condition of BT's licence that they continued to support loop disconnect dialling, something vintage telephone users are grateful for!

Emergency calls used to be "manually held" which meant that the call could not be cleared until it was released by the operator, so police arriving at the premises could speak over the connection and confirm where the call came from.

There was no CLI in those days so the operator would ask the caller for their number. A second operator would then dial that number and confirm the line was busy. They'd then used the "Trunk Offer" or TKO facility to listen in on the call.

TKO's original use was to enable the operator to offer a trunk call to a busy line.
And presumably for the operator to ask for another four pennies for the next... three... minutes...

And didn't they interrupt your call to tell you to contact the hospital where your loved one is dangerously ill?

I thought it was still the case that the caller can not clear down a 999/112 call.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 1:04 pm   #9
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

It's difficult to imagine why anybody would go to the trouble of spoofing the caller ID in these circumstances. If someone wants to make an anonymous nuisance emergency call there are much easier ways of doing it.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 1:46 pm   #10
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

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Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post

One of the reasons 999 was chosen was to avoid this, so 112 was asking for more false calls, and it is an acknowledged problem.
Wasn't 112 chosen as a pan-European emergency number under the (false) assumption that no-one uses LD any more? My late ma-in-law used to call 112 inadvertently with trying to replace the wall-telephone handset.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 1:52 pm   #11
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

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I thought it was still the case that the caller can not clear down a 999/112 call.
The call should stay open for about ten seconds after putting the phone down, so if you pick up again you'll get back through to the operator.


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Old 14th Aug 2020, 2:07 pm   #12
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Calls in the UK are generally controlled by the calling party, it is they who can clear the call. To avoid a Called Sub Held (CSH) condition where the called party clears, but the caller doesn't, such a call was force released after six minutes. This timer has been drastically reduced to prevent fraud.

Calls to operators are under the control of the operator and until the operator clears you won't get away. Originally called "manual hold".
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 6:50 pm   #13
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

I was going to work one morning as a passenger with my locked mobile in my pocket when I heard voices from it! Picked it out my pocket and I was talking to the emergency services! They suggested that I locked my phone while it was being carried but didn't believe they had been rang from a locked phone!

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Old 15th Aug 2020, 1:33 am   #14
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

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I was going to work one morning as a passenger with my locked mobile in my pocket when I heard voices from it! Picked it out my pocket and I was talking to the emergency services! They suggested that I locked my phone while it was being carried but didn't believe they had been rang from a locked phone!

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They were badly trained then!
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 9:25 am   #15
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

It's also possible that the telephone companies records are wrong. It does happen. We had the police arrive at our house, saying they had received an emergency call, but no-one spoke. They were quite insistent that we had called them, from our number. We hadn't. Only when they quoted the number, which wasn't ours, did we realise what the issue must have been.

We never found out how the error occurred, but suspect that NTL had allocated the number to us when we were going to switch to them, but never updated their records after we cancelled because they were worse than useless at everything.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:27 am   #16
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Station X View Post
There was no CLI in those days so the operator would ask the caller for their number. A second operator would then dial that number and confirm the line was busy. They'd then used the "Trunk Offer" or TKO facility to listen in on the call.

TKO's original use was to enable the operator to offer a trunk call to a busy line.

... at risk of having another post edited or deleted ...


Call me a cynic and I won't deny it; however, I have it on iron-clad authority that TKO was sometimes ( I'll leave the reader to guess how often ) used for less noble purposes than was its original intention ...!
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:32 am   #17
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

If you're referring to phone tapping, TKO wasn't used for that.

Back on topic please.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:41 am   #18
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Just for the record, no, in any organised or authorised sense, that's not what I was referring to.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:52 am   #19
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Default Re: 999 mystery...?

Time to pull the plug on this thread.
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