What happened with my cell phone Saturday night?
June 30, 2008 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Did someone hack my cell phone or somehow use my number? Do I need to worry about my phone being compromised or something? Someone left a voicemail for my friend and there's no outgoing call on my phone nor would anyone have had access to it (it was at my house, we were asleep.) When I checked my phone log, I found that a few minutes earlier I had a missed call from someone who does not have my number and denies having called me.

Both of these calls happened just after 2:30am saturday night/sunday morning. Our entire social group was at a party Saturday night including the girl who got a message from me and the guy who I have a missed call from. My girlfriend and I went home around midnight. My phone was locked in our car while we were at the bar, and was in a semi-private room (although anyone could have access to it) while at the earlier event.

The girl's voicemail message says starts out "I'm calling you from [palegirl]'s phone..." and goes on to talk about how "I know you've never liked me but I don't know why!" drama-drama. It's a female voice that we can't identify, but they used nicknames and clearly are members of our social group.

The missed call I got is from my current girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. My girlfriend recognized his number when we were investigating the voicemail my friend got. He was at the party too. He and I aren't friends, and my gf and I don't even know if he knows the nature of our relationship. My girlfriend called him today and asked him if he called me and he denies it and she believes him.

We think someone is messing around with us. Is this possible?

It's a true fact that no one made a call from my phone to leave my friend that voicemail, but her phone shows my phone number as the received call, and the voicemailer explicitly says she's calling from my phone.

Do I need to change my number and or get a new phone or anything else?
posted by palegirl to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Caller ID spoofing. That would explain both incidents.
posted by flug at 2:15 PM on June 30, 2008

Flug's got it. No need to have access to your phone. No need for you to change your number, etc.

Just to be 1000% sure you can probably log onto your phone provider's web site and look at an electronic version of your bill to see outgoing calls.

A greater concern is that it looks like you have a serious psycho in your social circle who needs to be dealt with.
posted by Ookseer at 2:36 PM on June 30, 2008

Is this really serious psycho behavior? We keep wondering what the female culprit would have done had I answered the call "from" the current-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. To me it seems like dumb girl-drama drunken antics although it's kind of irritating that they'd want to mess with the whole girlfriend-girlfriend ex-boyfriend situation which we've all been playing kinda cool. And a friend points out that drunken-dialers don't go through the trouble of caller-ID spoofing.

Girlfriend and ex-boyfriend are pretty upset. I'm not all that upset yet but could be talked into becoming so.
posted by palegirl at 2:45 PM on June 30, 2008

Weird things can happen. Once I was trying to block a number from calling me (an ex) and I accidentally ended up forwarding all of my calls to her. That was interesting. A few wrong combination of buttons and you can have a weird mystery on your hands.
posted by likesuchasand at 2:51 PM on June 30, 2008

Is this really serious psycho behavior?


What you really want to know, I suppose, is ¨Is this a sign of really serious psycho behavior that will be directed at me, my GF, or her ex, or our friends in the future?¨. Only time will tell on that one, but it´s likely this is an isolated incident.

Someone familiar with caller-id spoofing probably got in a mood to play a strange joke. There´s no need for any upset or number changing.
posted by yohko at 4:48 PM on June 30, 2008

It's a true fact that no one made a call from my phone to leave my friend that voicemail,

How do you know? Can't items be deleted from the call log? Applying Occam's Razor, I'd say someone used your phone and then deleted the info from the call history. It is true that call ID information is easy to spoof, but in this case there's an even simpler possible explanation -- people had access to your phone and (unless your phone is different from the cell phones I've used) there's nothing here that would prove no-one used your phone.
posted by winston at 5:46 PM on June 30, 2008

Nobody had access to my phone at the hour the call to my friend was made. I was at home, asleep, with my girlfriend and our many, many pets. My phone was in my bag in a room people had access to many hours earlier.
posted by palegirl at 6:15 PM on June 30, 2008

...Let me get this straight -- your girlfriend's ex was at a party, where he most likely was drinking, denies having called you to leave a message from said party -- and you believe him?

Sorry, that was a little harsh of me...but I have a hunch it may be more likely that he tried a drunk-dial thing, but then after he sobered up realized it was a boneheaded thing to do, and is now desperately trying to pretend it didn't happen so the whole thing blows over.

As for the "it was a call from my phone" thing -- hell, I got a call on my cell that was placed by my friend's ASS. Hs phone was in his back pocket, and he happened to move in such a way that it triggered his speed-dial for my cell phone. So I got this bizarre message that sounded like rustling curtains with muffled talking in the background. It took us several minutes discussion later to figure out that that's what had happened. So if my friend's butt can manage to place a call, anything is possible.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 PM on June 30, 2008

"but her phone shows my phone number as the received call, and the voicemailer explicitly says she's calling from my phone."

That strikes me as suspicious, like the kid who proclaims, "I didn't eat any cookies!" before anyone ever accuses him of reaching into the cookie jar.

Many, many times I have called someone from someone else's phone. Sure, I'll say, "Hey, it's fogster" at the start of the call or message so they're not confused, but, "Hey, this is fogster calling, and I'm using trokair's phone!" is just weird unless I had been harboring a crush on trokair's phone or something and was ecstatic to be using it.

It sounds like she's really trying to stress that it was your phone, since it's just an odd thing to mention, or at least it sounds that way from your account. And since she was really trying to stress a detail that would ordinarily be irrelevant and uninteresting, it seems to me to further strengthen flug's guess that it's spoofed caller ID.
posted by fogster at 8:28 PM on June 30, 2008

Let's see if some simple logic will work this out:

1. Man A is dating Woman B;

2. A call is spoofed from Man A's phone by a third party, to a girl friend of Man A, and the third party emphasizes it's from Man A's phone before dropping some fake drama, all anonymous;

3. A call is spoofed from an ex-boyfriend of Woman B to Man A's phone.

If we assume that the same person made both phone calls (likely, given the timing of the whole thing) and that there's no reasonable way to assume that those two phone calls could actually break up or introduce doubt into the relationship between Man A and Woman B, there's only one reasonable thing to assume: someone who was not in full possession of their faculties (ie drunk) and had an awareness of your relationships (between Man A, Woman B, girl friend of Man A and ex-boyfriend of Woman B) thought this would somehow introduce amusing drama into the social group.

So -- of the people you were with, who had your phone number, your girl friend's phone number, your girlfriend's ex-boyfriend's number, was drunk, is a girl, and likes fucking with people for their own amusement? Unless you hang out with a lame bunch of folks, I bet you are thinking of a specific person right now.

If so, don't confront them -- just use caller ID spoofing to make a call that seems to be coming from their own number back to them, and have a work buddy who they've never met or spoken to on the phone leave a cryptic but non-threatening message.
posted by davejay at 10:28 PM on June 30, 2008

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