The original 'PSA' that has been circulating on Facebook and other platforms advises people who are lost or stranded to change their voicemails messages
According to the post, you should update the message to include the date, your approximate location, and your situation before your cellphone dies
However, experts are calling it 'life-threatening misinformation,' insisting people should call or text 911 if they have service
The Alpine Rescue Team, a group of rescue mountaineers in Colorado, is among the groups that have warned against the so-called survival tip
The non-profit stressed that trying to change your voicemail is a waste of time, whether you have a signal or not
Canadian groups such as the Halifax Search and Rescue and Coquitlam Search and Rescue have shared similar messages
Published: | Updated:
Search and rescue teams across North America are warning against a viral social media post advising people who are lost or stranded to update their voicemail messages to include their location and situation before their cellphone dies.
It's unclear where the 'PSA' originated, but it has been circulating on Facebook as well as other platforms. Experts are calling it 'life-threatening misinformation,' insisting people should call or text 911 if they have service.
'Posts like this get your attention, get liked by people who don't know better, are shared by folks trying to be helpful, and the algorithm spreads it like wildfire,' the group wrote.
Listen up! Search and rescue teams are warning against a viral social media post advising people who are lost or stranded to change their voicemail messages
'Do Not Do This': According to the 'PSA,' you should update the message to include the date, your approximate location, and your situation before your cellphone dies
The viral post, which is now being flagged for 'partly false information' on Facebook, begins: 'If you are ever lost while hiking, get stranded with a broken-down car, etc and you notice your cell phone is either low on power or has no signal, here is a tip that very well may save your life.
'Change the voicemail on your phone to a message that gives your approximate location, the time, the date, your situation (lost, out of gas, car broken down, injured, etc) and any special instructions such as you are staying with the car, you are walking toward a town, etc...
'The best part of this is that even if your cell phone dies or stops working, voicemail still works, so anyone calling your phone looking for you will hear the message and know where to find you or where to send help!'
The message got a lot of attention on social media, as people were quick to re-post it and send it to their loved ones thinking it was potentially lifesaving advice.
However, the Alpine Rescue Team pointed out that trying to change your voicemail is a waste of time, whether you have a signal or not.
'Without a signal (connection to the cell system) YOU CAN'T CHANGE YOUR VOICEMAIL. The voicemail system resides with your cell provider,' the group explained.
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Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-10166219/Rescue-teams-warn-against-viral-PSA-changing-voicemail-lost.html1256