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*3370# and #3370#: What happens if you dial these magic numbers on your iPhone or Android phone? (And other crazy cell phone myths)

According to a certain message titled “Five Things you Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do”, making the rounds via WhatsApp and other channels, dialling *3370# is supposed to unlock a hidden reserve battery power in your smartphone. Item number 3 from that message says this:

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Is your mobile phone battery flat? All handphone have Hidden Battery Power.

To activate, press the keys *3370# (remember the asterisk). Do this when the phone is almost dead. Your mobile will restart in a special way with this new reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery life. This reserve will be recharged when you charge your handphone next time.

This secret is in the fine print in most phone manuals which we skip without realizing.

I reproduced the message as is, with all the errors, so pardon the bad English above. The question is, does dialling the *3370# code really do that, or is this a myth? Another claim is that dialling that same *3370# boosts your cell phone’s reception. But does dialling this magic number do either of these things?

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What is *3370# and what does it do?

Does the *3370# code improve battery life?

No; it does not.

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Does the *3370# boost cell signal?

No; it does not.

Both claims are hoaxes. Typing in or dialling *3370# on your smartphone is not likely to do anything at all. I tried it on my Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro; nada. Then, I punched it in on a Pixel phone; zilch. Next, I tried it on a TECNO Camon 18 Premier; duh. Nothing.

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Dialling *3370# is as useful as singing, “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. There is a slightly different version of this hoax that says the code to dial is #3370#. Dialling that won’t boost your cellphone signal, or battery, either. So where did this claim originate from? I have no idea. If you don’t believe me, though, you can type that code on your phone now. Zilch.

Some Other Cell Phone Myths

As we are here already and addressing cell phone myths, I might as well address all the other points in that message titled, “Five Things you Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do”; right? And I will make it short and sharp. Come with me.

Emergency Services: Is 112 an automatic worldwide emergency number?

Here’s what that message says:

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The Emergency No. worldwide for all Mobile Phones is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and your mobile will search any existing network in your area to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. This works on all phones worldwide and is free.

112 is the emergency number adopted in Europe. It is not a global standard. For example, in the USA, the emergency number is 911. Some carriers in the United States have forwarded 112 calls to 911 though, but not all.

In many other countries, dialling 112 will not get you any help in an emergency. Until recently in Nigeria, 112 was inactive. Then Lagos State implemented it, and it has since been taken up as a national emergency number..

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So, 112 is not an automatic channel. Each country has to adopt and implement it before it works. If you are travelling outside your country, find out what number is active for emergency calls in your destination country.

2. Locked your keys in the car?

Let’s look at another tip provided in that message:

If you lock your remote keyless car keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button on the spare key, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock.

Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you.Distance is no object. You could be thousands of miles away.Editor’s Note: I didn’t believe this when I heard about it! I rang my daughter in Sydney from Perth when we went on holiday. She had the spare car key. We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a mobile phone!

When I first heard this, I had my doubts. My knowledge of automobiles told me that keyless entry systems work on radio frequencies, not sound. So, as soon as I had the chance, I looked it up. This is another hoax. You cannot unlock your car this way.

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Can you disable a stolen phone with *#06#?

Another tip from the message says:

To check your handphone’s serial number, key in following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 # Ensure you put an asterisk BEFORE the #06# sequence. 

A 15 digits code will appear on the screen that is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. If your handphone is ever stolen, phone your service provider and give them this code.They will then be able to block your handset so even if the SIM is changed, your handphone will be totally useless. And even if you don’t get your phone back, at least it can’t use/resold either.

If everybody did this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones. This secret is also in the fine print of most mobile phone manuals. It was created for the very purpose of trying to prevent phones from being stolen. 

Can you disable a stolen phone with *#06#?

Maybe.

Typing *#06# in the dialler of your phone will display the phone’s 15-digit identification string (IMEI). But there is no guarantee that your carrier or network operator will be able to block or blacklist the phone. You see, they need to have set up the required system to do that, and it is usually a national system, so that if one carrier blocks the handset, it cannot be used on any network in that country.

So, for reporting your stolen phone’s IMEI to work for you, the system has to have been adopted by not just your operator but also all other operators in the country. Otherwise, it is a waste of time.

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Does ATM PIN Number reversal work?

The message says:

ATM PIN Number Reversal – Good to Know !!!I

If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321.

The ATM system recognizes that your PIN number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location. All ATM’s carry this emergency sequencer by law.

This information was recently broadcast by Crime Stoppers. It is, however, seldom used as people just don’t know about it.

If you are laughing by now, that is understandable. Someone somewhere cooked up a bunch of myths as practical tips for mobile users. While this ATM PIN reversal trick is not exactly a mobile phone issue, it doesn’t hurt that I address it here.

ATM PIN reversal is a concept that has not been implemented anywhere. You can go ahead and type in the reverse of your ATM PIN: what you will get is an incorrect error. Nothing more. No alarm bells will ring out in any police station. You can wait till Jesus returns, and it won’t happen – unless the concept is finally implemented.

That’s it, friend. I hope you had some fun with this article. It is important to know what is true and what is not, so you do not find yourself depending on a hoax to get you out of a fix. Dialling *3370# or #3370# will not boost your cell phone signal or battery life. Ignore all the other hoaxes highlighted in this article. Above all, if you have shared that hoax message to friends, also share this article, so they can know better. Peace.

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