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'Funny Call' App Not So Funny

January 25, 2012, 7:05 AM by Kellee Azar

'Funny Call' App Not So Funny
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Telephone apps can help keep you organized, entertained and up to date on the latest news.  But they're also being used to stalk and harass people.

An app named "Funny Call" app is not living up to its name for one Sioux Falls resident. For the past few weeks, Carrie Mason has received calls from the 414 number attached to the app that's available on your iPhone. It allows you to call from a generic, untraceable number and use a voice changer to pull "pranks" on people.

"I would just hang up and they would call me back really mad this time and say 'don't hang up on me,'" Mason said.

The calls started out with the person on the other line saying Mason's name, and asking if she wanted to hang out. It then quickly escalated to the caller explaining what they saw Mason doing as she was on the phone with them. It now has Mason scared to do normal, everyday things.

"I'm fine, I don't think about it when I'm, like, here and safe around people.  But when I'm going out to my car, I don't like to; or taking out the trash, I don't like to do that now.  I'm just scared," Mason said.

Apps such as this one are becoming more prevalent.  And while it may be a free app, Sioux Falls Police say calls like these are against the law.

"It's against the law for anybody to make an annoying, harassing phone call from one person to another, regardless of how that's done, how that message is relayed," Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.

It doesn't matter if it's a call, text or voicemail, if you receive a threatening message, the Sioux Falls Police want to hear about it.

"If someone receives something like that and are concerned about it, they need to call police and let us know about it," Clemens said.

While these apps may have been created for fun, police believe the joke has gone too far.

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