Romania faces a battle with hoax and nuisance calls. Millions made prank or pocket calls to the emergency services last year, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The spokesman for the Special Telecommunications Service, Catalin Chirca, said almost half the 11.3 million calls made in 2019 were hoaxes or mistakes.
He told Radio France Internationale that some of the calls were accidental, made unintentionally when people forgot to block their phones and butt dialed the number.
People who make hoax calls to emergency services waste vital services, and could endanger the lives of others by diverting them from those in genuine need face, officials say.
Former Prime Minister Viorica Dancila raised the fines for nuisance calls to 112 from 1,000 lei to 5,000 lei last year in a bid to tackle the problem.
Chirica told RFI: “It’s important to be responsible when we call 112 and do it when there’s an emergency.”
If a caller unintentionally dialed 112, they should stay on the line and tell the operator that it had been a mistake, he said.
“This way, we save time that can be used by operators in the case of real emergencies.”