Mistaken phone messages, could it be identity theft?
June 8, 2008 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Is my boyfriend the victim of identity theft?

In the last 24 hours, my man has received two phone messages (from different people), asking about buying a cellphone that he listed somewhere unknown. Supposedly a RAZR (as the first message mentioned "razors" and the second specified a phone). They have the correct first name.

What's going on? If it's someone scamming in my boy's name, why would they give his actual phone number?

I googled his number, as well as searched on a few classified sites, but only came up with a few legitimate listings for work he's done. Should we be concerned about this, or is it likely just a coincidence (like someone with the same first name who mistyped their #?
posted by yellowbinder to Law & Government (7 answers total)
I think this sounds like it was just a random mistake, because as you say, it doesn't make a ton of sense to give a wrong phone number when attempting to do sketchy business. However, it kind of depends whether your boy's name is Joe or Aloysius...the former is way more likely to be involved in a coincidence.
posted by crinklebat at 7:11 PM on June 8, 2008

Sounds like a craigslist mistake to me . . . unless your boyfriend's name is Allister or a similarly statistically unusual name, it doesn't seem like too distant of a possibility for another Joe to have written down the wrong phone number in his craigslist ad. Try searching "Razr" in your local craigslist?

Might be smart to keep an eye on your online financial activity for a few days anyway. . .
posted by arnicae at 7:38 PM on June 8, 2008

There's a couple of possibilities here. It could be that someone with the same name as your boyfriend listed an advert and put the wrong number down, or it got screwed up somewhere along the way. Alternatively, it could be some weirdness with text messages being directed to the wrong phone. This isn't exactly common, but it's possible and would be more likely if your boyfriend got his phone in the last couple of months.

Is there any reason that you or he can't give one of these people a call and check where they saw the advert? I can't think of any way this could be a scam, but it might be just as well to check it out.
posted by xchmp at 7:39 PM on June 8, 2008

If your boyfriend pissed someone off they might've done a fake listing with his actual number to annoy him with people calling.
posted by sharkfu at 7:46 PM on June 8, 2008

is your boyfriend using a recycled number? I.e. a pre-paid card number or recently signed up for a subscribed line that's using someone else's number. It could be those pple are responding to old ad.

If they have the correct first name, it does seem a bit scary to be this coincidental but at best, i think your boyfriend can ignore the messages or at least respond that they've got the wrong person..
posted by prudie at 10:21 PM on June 8, 2008

You're overthinking this. That's not much evidence of anything.
posted by rokusan at 2:05 AM on June 9, 2008

Response by poster: yeah, thanks for the answers, you're right that it's probably nothing. I think he erased the messages, if someone else calls we'll try to figure out where it came from, but it's very likely just someone's typo.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:58 AM on June 9, 2008

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