Prank callA prank call, also known as a crank call or hoax call, is a form of practical joke committed over the telephone. As with all practical jokes, there is a thin line between humor and harassment, and the only person likely to find a prank call funny is the person who instigates it.
Prank calls range from annoying hang-ups to false calls to emergency services or bomb threats. Prank calls that waste the time of emergency services are a criminal offense in most countries, and in the United States of America, the Telecommunications Act makes any prank call a misdemeanor with penalties of up to a year in prison and a fine of $10,000 (depending on severity).
One example of a recent hoax call occurred in Perth Australia on New Years Eve, 2002, when a drunken teenager called the new anti-terrorist hotline to report a bomb threat against the New Years Eve Fireworks celebration. The threat was taken seriously, and the celebrations were about to be canceled, when police discovered that no such threat existed. The teen was arrested for deliberate false reporting.
Some examples of well-known prank calls are:
- Caller: Do you have Prince Albert in a Can?
- Receiver: Yes, I do.
- Caller: Then you'd better let him out!!
- Caller: Hello! Is your refrigerator running?
- Receiver: Yes, it is.
- Caller: Then you'd better go catch it!
- Obscene telephone calls