My husband and I were sitting in the living room together a couple of days ago and my phone rings. Oddly, it showed his name and phone number on the screen. We looked at each other puzzled…and then we both look on the table where his phone is sitting.
I answered the phone and it was a man saying he had found Bill’s phone and wanted to know where he could meet me to give it to me. I said he was mistaken and asked who I was speaking to . He refused to give his name and hung up.
My niece was home at the time as well. We were all trying to figure out how his caller ID information could show up on my phone…if it was NOT him calling. We could not come up with an answer…so we called our carrier and told them what happened. They looked at our records and confirmed that the call could not have come from his phone (we KNEW this!) and advised us to report it to the police.
While my husband was on the phone with our carrier my nieces phone rang…showing my number on called ID. Again, I had my phone in my hand and clearly the call was not coming from me. The same as the first time, the caller said he had found my phone and wanted my niece to meet him to give it to her. We told him to stop calling and that we were calling the police and hung up.
Almost immediately my phone rang and it was a friend of ours laughing. He said we had been “punked” and it is a DROID ap that allows manipulation of caller ID if you know both parties numbers….and he thought it was hilarious.
I do not think it is funny. In the right hands this could be very dangerous. Ok…he “got” us and we bought into it…whatever.
But I have a friend with two teenage daughters with cell phones. I can totally see one of them getting just such a call saying someone has found their Mom’s phone…and asking the girls to meet him at Circle K down the street so he could return it. And I can also see them thinking they are doing the right thing, with the best of intentions, and going to meet a stranger to retrieve their Mom’s phone. They have no reason to doubt that the caller has the phone…it shows up as proof on their phone’s caller ID. This scenario scares me. There is NO WAY parents can be aware of all of the ways BAD PEOPLE can get to their kids.
In arguing this with the guy that “got” us he says it can not be bad because the caller would have to have both peoples numbers to do it. Well…in this day of NO PRIVACY I think there is little consolation that this ap could not be used in unsavory ways. I would guess that many kids even have their number on the Facebook and MySpace pages.
So if both of the girls in my example above had published their numbers it would be very easy to take advantage of that knowledge and trick them to go somewhere they are potentially going to be harmed.
Additionally, taking the time of customer service reps at cell phone companies for something like this bothers me…but thinking that the customer service folks are directing people to call the police…is even more annoying. People in law enforcement DEFINIATLY have better things to do!
This is not my typical blog…nothing to do with Phoenix, Az real estate or things to do in the Valley…but I thought the more people who are aware this exists…the better.
If you are interested in buying or selling a home however…I can help!
Give me a call at 602-504-3898 or 888-897-7821 x114
Also, I have a GREAT search tool on my web site that gives you the ability to search the entire MLS…just like agents do. Very COOL! 😉 Go to Metro Phoenix Home Search and check it out if you would like! If you save even one home as a favorite, you will be prompted to enter contact information. If you do this…YOU can create and save as many searches as you would like. It is THE BEST MOST ACCURATE SEARCH OF OUR LOCAL MLS!!