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Issue 112 - March 2011 - Page 26

Mobile Phone Tips - Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do

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Outline
Message outlines four mobile phone tips that it claims can be useful in emergency situations.



Brief Analysis
The message contains a mixture of truthful and inaccurate information and therefore its overall value is questionable. Please read the detailed analysis below for more information.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 21st February 2011
First published: 17th January 2008
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: FOUR THINGS YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW YOUR MOBILE PHONE COULD DO

Very, very useful info.

4 THINGS YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW YOUR MOBILE PHONE COULD DO

There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:

FIRST Emergency

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

SECOND Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your cell phone.

Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a mobile phone!'

THIRD Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your mobile battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your mobile next time.

FOURTH How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 #

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

This is the kind of information people don't mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends




Detailed Analysis
This message describes four things you can do on your mobile phone that could be useful in an emergency situation. However, the message contains a mixture of truthful and inaccurate information and therefore its overall value is questionable. Each tip is discussed in turn below:

Tip 1: 112 is the international emergency number for mobile phones

It is true that, in many parts of the world, dialling '112' from a mobile phone will connect the caller to local emergency services. The number '112' is the international emergency telephone number for GSM mobile phone networks.
112 on Mobile 
PhoneD
112 is the International Emergency Number for GSM mobile phones
An Australian government webpage dealing with emergency calls notes:
If you have a GSM digital mobile phone you can connect to the emergency call service by dialling Triple Zero as with other phones. However, because GSM is an international standard, GSM mobile phone users can also be connect to emergency services by dialling the international emergency call number '112'.

When dialling '112' on GSM mobile phones, access is provided regardless of the presence or validity of the SIM card within the phone, or whether the keypad is locked. The '112' number cannot be dialled from the fixed network.

'112' can be dialled anywhere in the world with GSM coverage and callers will be automatically transferred to that country's particular emergency number. A caller is able to connect to the emergency services answering point if GSM mobile coverage is available from any carrier's network at the location of the call. For further details regarding '112', consumers should talk to their mobile service providers.

The same enhanced capabilities available with '112' are also becoming available progressively on some new GSM handsets and SIM cards. For more information contact your mobile phone carrier.
However, because '112' is primarily integrated with the GSM network, it may not work if the phone is connected to another type of network. Another Australian Government website incudes the following information about the 112 emergency number:
112 is an international standard emergency number which can only be dialled on a digital mobile phone. It is accepted as a secondary international emergency number in some parts of the world, including Australia, and can be dialled in areas of GSM network coverage with the call automatically translated to that country’s emergency number. It does not require reception from an individual carrier, a simcard or pin number to make the call.

Dialling 112 from a fixed line telephone in Australia will not connect you to the emergency call service as it is only available from digital mobile phones.
Therefore, while it is certainly useful to know about '112', mobile phone users should be aware that this emergency number may not work in every part of the world or for every mobile network.

Moreover, some circulating messages about '112' claim that the number will work even if there is no mobile phone signal or will automatically divert to a satellite phone system. However, this information is false. While ‘112’ will attempt to connect to any available network, it certainly will not work if no signal at all is available.

Finally, it should also be noted that, in the European Union, '112' is the emergency number for all Member States and will work from both mobile and fixed phones.

The message also includes the ill-conceived suggestion that recipients should actually try out the 112 number. As at least one commentator has pointed out, testing 112 - or any other emergency number - just to see if it works is simply irresponsible. Tying up emergency call workers with such useless calls could result in delays in response times for real emergencies. In emergency situations even seconds can make a difference. Emergency call services already have to contend with enough time-wasting prank calls as it is without having to field calls from recipients of this message who have heeded its advice to try the 112 number for themselves.

Tip 2: You can unlock your remote keyless entry enabled car from a long distance via a mobile phone call.

This tip has generated vast amounts of, sometimes heated, debate. A lot of people swear that the trick works while a great many others claim that it does not and is technically impossible. I suspect that at least some of the people who claim that the
Keyless Entry
technique works have conducted their experiments without realizing that they are actually still within unlocking range of their vehicles. The range of the entry systems may be significantly greater than experimenters realize. Thus, people may actually believe that they have unlocked their vehicle via their mobile phone when they have in fact done so in the normal way via their remote device.

That said, a great many posters claim to have used the technique from many kilometres distance. In truth, logic and common sense compellingly suggest that the trick is not technically possible. Keyless entry systems work on radio waves, not sound, so it is very difficult to believe that the unlock signal could be transmitted via a mobile phone call, especially since mobile phones and keyless entry systems work at entirely different frequencies.

However, the volume of conflicting reports on the issue means that, at this point, it would be premature to state categorically that the trick will never work under any circumstances. Some have postulated that the technique might be possible with certain keyless entry systems and/or phone services or combinations thereof and this may indeed be the case. This scenario would explain why the technique might work for the few but not the many. Coupled with false conclusions made from invalid experiments, these exceptions might explain why so many people so vehemently claim that the trick actually works in spite of the evidence against it.

What I can say conclusively is that I have personally testing the technique with several keyless entry/mobile phone combinations without any success whatsoever. And, even if the technique does sometimes work, it seems clear that in the great majority of cases, it does not, so this tip is actually rather pointless.

Tip 3: Press the keys *3370# to activate hidden battery power on your mobile phone.

This "tip" is totally bogus. You cannot activate hidden or reserve battery power by keying in *3370# or any other code sequence. The code '*3370#' can be used on some Nokia models to activate Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR). Ironically, since this code activates the best sound quality on the phone, the change will actually reduce the length of time that the battery will last before recharging is required – in practical terms the complete opposite of what the tip suggests.

Entering the code has no effect at all on brands of phone other than Nokia.

Tip 4: Press the keys * # 0 6 # to check your mobile phone serial number.

This does work on many kinds of mobile phones. Entering * # 0 6 # displays the phone's unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). The IMEI is also usually printed underneath the battery.

If a phone is reported lost or stolen, the IMEI can be used to disable the phone, thereby making it impossible for thieves to use it. The GSM Association manages a system known as the IMEI Database (IMEI DB) that also supports a "black list". An article about the IMEI DB on the GSM World website notes:
The black list is a list of IMEIs that are associated with GSM or 3G devices that should be denied service on mobile networks because they have been reported as lost, stolen, faulty or otherwise unsuitable for use. Previously know as the Central Equipment Identify Register (CEIR), the IMEI DB acts as a central system for network operators to share their individual black lists so that devices denied service (blacklisted) by one network will not work on other networks even if the SIM card in the device is changed.
Therefore, it would be wise to record your IMEI just in case you need to report the phone as lost or stolen at some point in the future. But, even if you do not have your IMEI, it is important that you report a lost or stolen phone to your service provider as soon as possible and request that they deactivate your mobile phone account so that a thief cannot make calls billed to your account.

Note:
Some versions of the email also tack on a bonus "tip" that claims that, should you be forced by criminals to withdraw money from an ATM, entering your PIN in reverse will automatically alert police. However, this claim is untrue. At least at the time of writing, entering your PIN in reverse will not alert police to your plight. While the technology that makes such a system possible does exist, it is yet to be embraced and implemented by banks. For details about this "reverse pin" claim, refer to:

ATM Security Advise Message : Enter PIN In Reverse to Call Police

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References
Emergency call services
Using other emergency numbers
112 No Signal Mobile Phone Call Diverts to Satellite Hoax
Howstuffworks How Remote Entry Works
Unlock Your Car Door with a Cell Phone
Nokia Codes
IMEI Database
ATM Security Advise Message : Enter PIN In Reverse to Call Police



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Issue 112 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Money Laundering Scam - Christchurch Earthquake Charity Support Job
  2. False Claim - Viral Video Shows 92 Year Old Ginger Rogers Dancing With Her Great Grandson
  3. Flu Remedy Myth - Onions Absorb Viruses and Bacteria From a Room
  4. False Claim - Onions are Magnets for Bacteria
  5. The Fly in the Urinal - Schiphol Airport Toilet Aim Improvement Technique
  6. Blackberry Award Advance Fee Scam
  7. Overblown Warning - Phone Numbers Now On Facebook
  8. UK Post Office Online Reward Program Phishing Scam
  9. Amber Alert Hoax - Mitsubishi Eclipse With Plate Number 98B351
  10. Hitman Payoff Scam Email
  11. Facebook 'See Who Viewed Your Profile' Scams - Rogue 'Stalker' Apps
  12. Analysis of a Hijacked Account Overpayment Scam - Boat and Trailer For Sale
  13. Tick Removal Advice - Liquid Soap Technique
  14. Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
  15. Mike The Hacker Scam Emails
  16. DVLA Update Driver's Licence Phishing Scam
  17. Plea to Help Find Homes for 52 Thoroughbred Horses
  18. Prime Minister Howard - Muslims Out Of Australia
  19. Unsubstantiated Rumours Claim Michelle Obama is Pregnant
  20. AOL 'Billing Update Must be Performed' Phishing Scam
  21. Health Canada Warning - Over The Counter Drug Recall
  22. Do Not Call - Mobile Phones Going Public Hoax
  23. Facebook Grant Award Advance Fee Scam
  24. Post Express 'Incorrect Delivery Address' Malware Emails
  25. Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails
  26. Mobile Phone Tips - Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  27. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam