A lady used my cell phone to call her boyfriend who had just taken her gas money and left; it seemed like a normal (err, kinda) situation until she told me not to tell anyone I saw or talked to her. Should I report this somehow, or am I overreacting?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (60 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I stepped out for a jog around 9PM as I hadn't been out for a while. After my first lap around the part of the neighborhood I jog in, I received a text and promptly pulled out my cell phone (yes, I'm a teenager). When I did so, a lady on the side of the road came over and wanted to use my cell, going on about how her boyfriend left her here with no ride or anything.
Apparently he drove over to pick her up, took a small amount of cash from her to use for gas, and then left her to go somewhere else -- I didn't catch where, it was either his dad's or his brother's place, the lady was talking too fast for me to keep up. She kept freaking out, wanting to go over to his place to see if he was really there. She also went on about how she needed a ride there, but when I suggested calling someone she knew she didn't really seem to have anyone to call, as she would ignore me or say something vague (like "yeah...").
The lady dialed and redialed her boyfriend's number using *67 multiple times (the counter on my phone went up to around 14, and she also had me delete the number off my recent calls list a few times), despite that half the time it went to voicemail due to him shutting the phone off. She seemed pretty distressed, so I just let her have the phone whenever she asked to call again, though eventually I got pretty uncomfortable.
It all seemed normal (ish) until she started asking questions that put me on the defensive -- she asked if I had an older brother or friend who could drive her over (not that personal, but I'm a minor so this was a bit iffy, didn't seem appropriate for her to do) and where I lived.
Then, the first time she seemed like she was about to leave, she said to me, "Don't call the cops on me, 'kay?" and laughed a bit, trying to play it off like it was a joke. When she actually did leave, she told me not to tell anyone in the neighborhood I saw or spoke to her, which set a multitude of alarms off in my head.
So, MeFi, here are my questions:
1) Should I actively do something to alert someone, whether it be parents (I'm a minor) or authorities about this situation? If so, who, and what main points do I need to focus on or say?
2) Do I have a legitimate reason to be worried about this, or am I just a little shaken because she started asking personal questions, and her little comments near the end?
3) Should I be worried about my personal safety? Not only because of her remarks not to tell anyone, namely the cops, but also because while we were standing around several cars drove by; quite a few slowed down a lot, and though she seemed to recognize a few "neighbors" or "friends," they didn't stop for her. Also, should I worry about someone having my phone number, despite that she used *67 to dial with?
4) How do I avoid situations like this in the future? By this, I mean, how can I get myself to firmly reject someone's request for help? I don't mean to be an ass, but after a few minutes of standing there with her on my phone, I realized what a stupid choice I made -- interacting with a stranger at night, handing over a personal belonging, and then not being able muster the nerve to ask for my cell back, saying I have to leave and be on my way, etc.
One last little question, though this is just to satisfy my paranoia: do I have to worry about transmission of anything viral, antibacterial, infectious, so on and so forth, from her using my cell phone? She also put her arm around my back and patted me on the shoulder real quick to demonstrate what her boyfriend did before he kicked her out of the car, what about that? The entire situation just seemed pretty sketchy, I just want to ask to make sure.
Huge thank you, MeFi, for helping me to deal with this situation. I'm just a bit shaken after that weird encounter, and my habit of being paranoid about this kind of stuff, especially germs and strangers, didn't help at all -- plus, I had to walk/run a half a mile home after the whole event. Everytime a car passed I was desperately they wouldn't stop and ask about some lady.
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