5 Cell Phone “Urban Legend” Myths Debunked

There have been many e-mails circling the Internet talking about hidden tricks and features of the average cell phone. Below are a few of those myths and the actual truths according to Snopes.com.


Myth #1:

The emergency number worldwide for mobile phones is 112. This number can be dialed even when the keypad it locked.

Truth: Calling 112 on your cell phone will connect you with local emergency services in some parts of the world—primarily Europe—even if you are outside of your service area, and some phones will allow you to dial 112 even if you lack a SIM card or if the keypad is locked.


Myth #2:

If you have a remote keyless entry system for your car and lock your keys in the car, you can call someone with a spare key and get them to transmit the “unlock” signal via your cell phone. Simply get them to press the unlock button on the spare key into their cell phone while you hold your cell phone close to the door. It will open instantly.

Truth: Cars with remote keyless entry systems cannot be unlocked by relaying a key fob transmitter signal via a cellular telephone. The signals used by cell phones and key fobs are different frequencies so a cell phone can’t reproduce the signal from a key fob.


Myth #3:

Pressing *3370# on your cell phone will unlock hidden battery power on your phone.

Truth: This is a misunderstanding of an option available on some brands of cell phones, such as Nokia. However, this option is activated by pressing #4720#; pressing *3370# actually enables Enhanced Full Rate Codec, which provides better sound quality at the expense of a shorter battery life.


Myth #4:

You can totally disable a stolen cell phone by giving your phone’s serial number to your service provider and reporting it stolen; they can disable the phone so that even if the thief replaces the SIM card, the phone is still useless. You can get your cell phone’s serial number to display on your phone by punching in * #06# on your phone keypad.

Truth: Entering the sequence *#06# may display a 15-digit identification code string, but this function only works with certain types of phones. Plus, reporting this number to your service provide to shut down the phone is extremely limited.


Myth #5:

To avoid paying telephone directory charges associated with 411 info, dial (800) FREE-411.

Truth: Some companies like (800) FREE-411 do provide free directory assistance to cell phone customers. However, users should know that while the service is free, your cell phone service provide may still charge you for placing the call.