Lost/stolen iphone, now getting random iMessages.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Leonard1818, May 3, 2013.

  1. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #1
    ...help! Anything we can do? Here's the short story:

    Just before Christmas my wife lost her (my old) iPhone 4S. I'm 99% sure it was STOLEN cause I talked to her and within 10 mins it was turned off to never be seen again. She got her dads old iphone 4 to use and she's still using.

    Fast forward to about 10 minutes ago, she gets a random iMessage that starts off "hey it's so and so, I just turned on iMessage"

    Here we are watching this convo play out...

    So what gives?? Does one of these people have her old phone? I've been reading a bit about this but can't tell what exactly causes it... Does this have something to do with her lost(stolen) phone? And is there anything we can/should do?

    Any input/info will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Paddle1 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    #2
    The phone might have been given/sold to someone. Are you sure it's not some sort of advertisement?
     
  3. Looon macrumors 6502a

    Looon

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #3
    If it was stolen the person who did it probably sold the phone to someone else so even if you do "catch" the person that has it now it's likely that they weren't even the one who did the original deed. I'm still interested to see how this turns out either way.
     
  4. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #4
    I'm sure it's not an advertisement. It's 2 seemingly high school or jr high kids (or very immature older people) chatting back and forth. They both have local (to us) area codes. I have their phone numbers but I'm just watching for now to see what info I may get before I interject. I know the one persons first name and phone number. They even said "I finally turned on iMessage" as the first txt we saw from them so I know this has to do with iMessage. I'm assuming this person is in possession of my wife's old phone.
     
  5. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    Report the phone stolen. That will likely solve your problems.
     
  6. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #6
    It's been reported: to the local police, to Verizon (who "blacklisted" the thing) and to apple. This was all done within a day of it being stolen.

    I'm curious if now the person who has the phone is going to start getting my wife's iMessages from her friends.
     
  7. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7

    I would say that yes, they can see her iMessages.
    Try the following:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4364448?start=15&tstart=0
    If you don't actually have a Mac you can try calling or going into Apple and see if they can help you with it.
     
  8. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #8
    Thanks for the info! My wife uses a Mac but I'm not sure that she's ever plugged in her apple id or done any kind of iPhone maintenance on it. I'll try it out tomorrow.

    Funny, I can go into settings on her phone and then go to messages > send and receive > but it still just shows her phone number and apple ID ... No mention of this persons phone number.
     
  9. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #9
    If she tries this in the Mac, and she sees the same thing as you mentioned, I would remove the Apple ID, as it is likely what is allowing thisnithernoerson to send and receive said messages.
     
  10. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #10
    So then is her apple ID hosed? As in -- we won't be able to use it to associate her to future apple devices or use/transfer any purchases to future devices?

    ----------

    Btw thanks for all the help lordofthereef. She seems pretty unconcerned by this (as she was when she lost the damn thing) but it makes me nervous. I'd like to get the phone back but moreso I don't need this person having her phone number or email address...OR receiving iMessages supposed to go to her. I'm out of town with only my phone as an Internet source so your searches and links are helping a lot!!
     
  11. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11
    It may be... But I mean, once the thief realizes there is no more fun to be had with said ID, I am certain they will just Desiree the phone and move on with life. A couple months down the road you can always go back. That would be the response I can give with what I personally know. Apple may be able to help you out further though. If either of you are concerned about keeping the Apple ID, that would be the next step I think.
     
  12. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #12
    ...also I would have thought its her phone number causing us to receive these messages... Doesn't the sim hold onto her phone number? So when she lost her old phone, sim inside, that had been tied to her phone number, isn't this what apples Imessage servers use to push out iMessages?
     
  13. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #14
    No but it is at risk. Anytime you lose something with your apple Id, Facebook, email etc on it you should change the passwords right away. Too much dangerous info out there for hackers to have at their fingers.

    I would try signing into iCloud.com and see if you can still locate the phone. If you can a pleasant 'enjoy this stolen phone' message right before you remote wipe it then immediately change the password could be in order.
     
  14. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #15
    Their servers use the phone number as well as email associated with the account. Being that its a Verizon phone, the phone number is/was associated with the hardware (CDMA). The sim, while also associated with the phone number, is the LTE network. Eventually I think Verizon will retire CDMA. But that doesn't help you in the here and now. With currentl LTE phones its helpful to know that the CDMA hardware ("part of the phone" as well as the LTE (sim) has the number stored. You may have noticed that her iPhone 4 has no sim tray. It is CDMA only.
     
  15. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #16
    Awesome!!! I will try all of this in the AM. I'm honestly not too torn up about the prospect of losing her apple id... Only a handful of apps associated to it... And I'm sure apple wouldn't have a problem issuing a credit should they have no solution but to abandon the apple ID due to a pretty blatant bug in their iMessage application......
     
  16. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    Boston, MA
  17. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #18
    Thanks for the input. I just tried locating the phone from mine but its just finding her iphone 4 now. I set it to remote wipe the old one and then removed it from my "find my iphone" once I came to terms with knowing that i wasn't going to see her phone again. Ha ha

    ----------

    I'll keep you updated for sure... I just wish I knew how much they know about her (ie phone number, apple Id, etc) I'd confront them nicely via txt if I knew what they knew about her. Her apple ID has part of her name in it (hindsight, 20:20) so I wouldn't want to not be peaceful if they know this bit of info
     
  18. bimmerboii macrumors member

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  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #20
    In which case they would have to return the phone if you can find them. Since the phone is turned on again, "Find my iPhone" should work again.
     
  20. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #21
    I don't think find my iphone will work only because it had most certainly been wiped-- clearing any find my iphone settings off of it. I'm just getting their iMessages due to a bug in the way iMessage works.
     
  21. lbros360 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    #22
    Did you at least try the "find my iphone" app? If you still have your wife's apple id, login on the app and maybe satellite or however they use to locate the phone can pick up some signal. Its worth a try! Good Luck.
     
  22. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #23
    Dang it! I just typed a whole update but it didn't post... grrr....

    Anyway, I spoke to Apple who indicated that I should change, not just her apple ID password (which I did last night) but also the email address associated to her Apple ID. Apple feels this is the link that is causing us to see these iMessages as it is present somewhere still on her old device.

    I haven't yet done this because, if it's true, we will no longer receive messages from the person in possession of the phone.

    Apple also indicated that it is very likely that whoever is on the other side of these iMessages is in possession of the device.

    For those wondering -- Find my iPhone does not locate this phone. I've tried from my phone and from my computer. I'm pretty sure that once the phone is wiped (as this one has been) Find my iPhone is useless. What is linking us to these iMessages is either her Apple ID, as Apple has stated, or her phone number that the SIM card in the old phone is still associated to on Apples iMessage servers.

    It's my understanding that it could be the phone number since that goes with the sim card. When the phone was in her possession and set up for her number, she used iMessage. Then, on Apples end it associated her Apple ID, iMessage, (facetime for that matter), to her phone number. Now that iMessage is being used by a different person, but with the same sim card, apple is routing it to her CURRENT phone as her current phone has her same phone number/apple ID set up on it. I don't know how factual the above is, I'm just summarizing what I've read online.

    Regardless, we're not sure what to do. If it is her Apple ID that is the link, then it seems as if her Apple ID is set up and showing on the OLD phone somewhere. Unfortunately for us, her apple ID (the email address) contains personally identifiable info (i.e. her name). SO -- we don't know if we want to pursue trying to get this phone back because we don't know who has it and/or how PO'd they would be about us re-claiming it. If mad enough, and armed with her name, they can easily find out what she looks like and where we live (her picture is on her work website).

    I haven't contacted the local police because a) I'm not in town currently and b) I'm not sure that this situation as it stands proves enough evidence for them to pursue finding the person.

    If the person in possession is the person who took it, we may know where he/she works.

    Also, I don't know the IMEI or whatever Verizon used to blacklist the device as it's on the original box which is at my house and I'm not currently at home, otherwise I would look it up and see if it's still blacklisted in their system and if not, see what they can do about it.

    Another option is to simply text the person anonymously and let them know they may be in possession of a lost/stolen iPhone and to take it to the police department or work out a deal where we can buy it back from them.

    I'm not sure what to do. This is very frustrating!
     
  23. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #24

    Will be the biggest fail...I would let them continue their chats and monitor...maybe you can pick up a "place" name or something since you say they are local to your area code. This will bring you one step closer. Should you find the "Place" go there with your box and all the ownership proof you have, call the phone number you have but dont speak, simply hang up, call the police, wait and tell them the situation.
     
  24. Leonard1818 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #25
    Good advice. I have had my wife monitor the messages today but nothing new has come through.

    The only downside to doing this is that there's a chance that just as we can see their iMessages come through on my wife's handset, they could receive any iMessages sent to my wife too. (please correct me if I'm mistaken). Therefore, we can either a) turn iMessage off on her phone (resulting in her not getting their iMessages) or b) Change her email address associated to her apple ID per Apple's instructions (resulting in her not getting their iMessages).

    In other words -- in order to continue to monitor their possible conversations, we may run the risk of them seeing her conversations as well.
     

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