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U.S. Cellular Invites Residents to Sign Up for Free Wireless AMBER Alerts

National AMBER Alert Awareness Day is Jan. 13

CHICAGO (January 6, 2012) – As the 6th anniversary of National AMBER Alert Awareness Day approaches on January 13, U.S. Cellular invites customers to sign up to receive free AMBER alerts via text message. The AMBER Alert program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement, media, transportation and others to send bulletins about child-abduction cases. Since its inception, the AMBER Alert program has led to the safe recovery of more than 542 children, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Statistics show that the first three hours following a child's abduction are the most critical to the search. In 2005, the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative enabled the public to receive alerts via text message on their wireless devices. Wireless AMBER Alerts have the potential to reach a significant amount of households with more than 322.9 million cell phone subscribers in the United States; and 29.7 percent of households being wireless only.*

"Once people sign up for this service, AMBER Alerts are sent to their wireless devices free of charge, so they can be made aware of a missing child in their area immediately," said Carter S. Elenz, executive vice president of sales and customer service for U.S. Cellular. "Signing up is quick, simple and may help in bringing home a lost or abducted child."

To sign up for wireless AMBER Alerts, visit the "About Us" section on,, or text the word "Amber" followed by a space and your 5-digit zip code to short code 26237. For personal assistance visit any U.S. Cellular retail store, and an associate is available to help. In 2011, AMBER Alerts started being issued via Facebook as well. To view these alerts, visit AMBER Alerts on Facebook site via your smartphone, computer, tablet or other device.

How wireless AMBER Alerts work:

  1. Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts in your area by selecting the location(s) you frequent most, such as where you live and work. You do this by entering up to 5 zip codes.
  2. Law enforcement issues an AMBER Alert and provides the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) with the information to include in the alert.
  3. NCMEC formats the AMBER Alert information, which is then relayed to U.S. Cellular.
  4. This information is sent as a free text message.
  5. U.S. Cellular customers will only receive AMBER Alerts by enrolling in the program.
  6. If you have information on a missing child, call the NCMEC toll-free Hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) 24-hours a day.
  7. In addition, you can now view AMBER Alerts via Facebook on both the national and state levels by visiting the AMBER Alert page(s).

  8. About U.S. Cellular
    U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and received PC Magazine's 2011 Readers' Choice Award. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and
    *Source CTIA-The Wireless Association