Feeds

Prank callers crash Dublin Zoo phone system

Stressed operators need Amanda Huggenkiss

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Dublin Zoo was forced to shut down its switchboard yesterday after thousands of Irish mobile users fell for a new take on one of the oldest phone tricks in the book.

Text messages have been doing the rounds in Ireland telling unwitting recipients to call a number and ask for one of a number of named contacts.

The Irish Independent reports that the zoo’s switchboard went into meltdown yesterday, and has now been forced to answer all calls with a recorded message saying: "If you are calling to speak to Mr Rory Lion, C Lion, G Raffe or anyone similar please be aware that you are the victim of a hoax message." Other contacts include Ana Conda and Rory Lyons.

A spokeswoman for the zoo told RTE radio that it had always received similar calls, usually around April Fool’s Day. But now that pranksters have gone high-tech, the zoo had been hit with over 100,000 calls in the last two weeks.

“We have lost our sense of humour now with calls coming in at a rate of about 13 a minute,” she told the station.

The jape is, of course, as old as the telephone itself, and has traditionally been played on office juniors or work experience kids. Similar twists include calling Battersea Dogs Home and asking for Mr Bassett, and sending building site neophytes down to the storeroom to ask for some tartan paint and a set of skyhooks.

We tried to call Dublin Zoo to check on the situation, but were told the PR dept’s junior had yet to return after they were sent to the stationery dept to ask for a long weight. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.