Officials at the Houston Zoo report that they're being inundated with thousands of phone calls as a result of a prank text message circulating via cell phone. From click2houston.com
"It's an enormous annoyance," zoo spokesman Brian Hill said. Thousands of people have received a message that someone has been talking about them. Some of the messages read: "Hey y is someone calln me and lookn for u n askn me where r u at n where u live heres tha # 713 555 650 tell then to stop calln me"
"It's scaring a lot of people," the switchboard operator told a caller. "We are working with the FBI and the major cell phone providers." Hill said that anyone who receives a similar message should trash it instead of calling the zoo.
"Chances are that if you get a text message, 'somebody's looking for you,' or 'I'm getting calls from somebody looking for you,' and our phone number is at the bottom of it, you'd be pretty safe to just ignore it and delete it," Hill said.
I think the message, translated from text speak into english, says: "Hey, why is someone calling me and looking for you and asking me where are you at, and where you live? Here's their number: 713 555 650. Tell them to stop calling me."
This is a new variant of the classic "phone the zoo" prank, which is one of the most popular April Fool's Day pranks of all time. Usually the prank involves tricking someone into calling the zoo and asking for "Mr Lion" or "Mr Fox". The prank used to be so popular that many zoos would have to shut down their switchboards on April 1st.
The prank is as old as telephones themselves, and actually traces back much further, deriving from the even older prank of fooling people into going to the Tower of London to see the "washing of the lions."