1. Bellarmine's Avatar
    I had a very disturbing experience last night with some stalker texting me and I am concerned my phone and/or identity have been compromised. Here's what happened.

    I have a friend whom I will call Bill Jones (not his real name). He and I text back and forth quite a bit. He texted me last night about something or other, and I texted back. A few minutes later I got a text from a number I didn't recognize that addressed me by my real name, even though almost everyone I know calls me by a nickname, Bill Jones included.

    Our texting conversation went something like this:

    Stalker: Hey [my real name]. What's up?
    Me: Who is this?
    Stalker: This is Bill.
    Me: Bill who?
    Stalker: Bill Jones. I want to tell you something, [my nickname].
    Me: Is everything ok?
    Stalker: Sort of, but I want to tell you something and I'm not sure how you will take it. LOL.
    Me: Why are you calling me [my real name] and using a different number? [Note: The real Bill never calls me by my real name.]
    Stalker: I got a new number but I wanted to say that I am attracted to you a lot...

    Now, this is something that Bill would never say and I know immediately that this is an impostor. At this point I called the number I was receiving the texts from, and after one or two rings I heard a beep sound like the beep you hear when a voicemail starts recording, and then silence. I asked who was there and got no answer, and after several seconds I heard a computer-generated female voice say, "You can hang up now" and the line went dead.

    I continued to text the stalker after this, and they continued to say they were "attracted" to me but were embarrassed to talk on the phone. I tried repeatedly to tell them to call me, but they wouldn't. Then I told them I wanted to meet them in person, and they tried to ask me where I was, but I wouldn't tell them. They wouldn't tell them where they were either. Finally they said they were going to bed and stopped responding.

    I called that phone number repeatedly for the next 30-40 minutes, and each time I called I would get the same thing: a varying number of rings before they picked up, and then the voicemail-type beep, and after several seconds of silence the computer-generated female voice saying, "You can hang up now" and then the line goes dead.

    I did a search for the number on Spokeo.com, and, even though they claimed they had full records on the owner of the number, after I paid the two dollars it said they didn't know anything about that number.

    I spoke to Verizon, and they said no one had tried to access my account. They suggested I install and run a spyware detection app, which I did, and it didn't find any spyware except that it flagged Call Control and Handcent as being suspicious, but I'm sure they're not.

    I have no third-party apps on my phone. All my apps are from the Google Play Store.

    I believe that someone would need to have physical access to a phone to install spyware on it, and no one besides me has ever had physical access to my phone, and Bill Jones told me no one else has ever touched his phone either.

    All of this happened at a friend's house, and when I drove home I pulled into my driveway, but then I realized I had my GPS on so I got back on the road and drove to the next town, where I pulled over in a subdivision, turned off GPS and mobile data, cutting off the trail, and then drove home. My phone is connected to my home wifi, but I use a VPN with encryption so I feel fairly safe that no one can get through that.

    I suppose it is theoretically possible that this is some bizarre prank played by someone who knows both me and Bill Jones, but please take my word for it that no one I know pull a stunt like that.

    It really bothers me that some stranger knows the following:

    * My number.
    * My nickname.
    * My real name.
    * The fact that I am friends with Bill Jones.
    * Given the fact that they started texting me right when I texted Bill Jones makes me wonder if they can read my texts in real time.

    I very much want to know what else they know about me and how they obtained this information and what I can do to protect myself. Please help me. I haven't been able to find a similar case by searching Google, so I'm really lost here. Thanks for your help people! If you need any more information please just ask and I'll be happy to tell you.

    I run a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android 4.3. Oh yeah, earlier that day I had installed CBS Sports app and iHeartRadio.
    04-24-2014 02:06 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central, and that is annoying and creepy. Off the top of my head, I can suggest a few things:

    1. Add that unknown phone number to your contacts, and then in your People app, select that contact, tap the menu button, and check the box for all calls to go to voicemail. Not sure if that will block texts as well, but worth a try.

    2. I'm not familiar with Samsung phones, but if there's a call or text blocking function on the phone, use it.

    3. If the phone doesn't have a call/text blocking function, then Verizon ought to be able to do it.

    4. Last resort, change your phone number.

    Good luck!
    Golfdriver97 likes this.
    04-24-2014 07:52 PM
  3. neonworm's Avatar
    I would try a factory reset. That should get rid of anything that may have been installed on your phone. Be sure to back your stuff up first though.
    04-24-2014 08:05 PM
  4. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Hard to suggest what to do actually. The 'hack' may have been as simple as someone looked in Bill Jones phone (which may not have been secured by any means) got your name and number. Your carrier should be able to block the number, and the best thing to do is ignore him. However, you could also keep the texts for records, go to the police, file a harassment report, and they can use the texts as evidence to subpoena records of the owner of the number.

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using AC Forums mobile app
    B. Diddy likes this.
    04-24-2014 08:28 PM
  5. Evilguppy's Avatar
    I'm guessing somebody snooped into Bill Jones' phone, saw your text conversations and grabbed your number. A jealous girlfriend, perhaps? I would block that number, contact Bill Jones on his phone and discuss it with him. He might even know who this was.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    04-24-2014 08:50 PM
  6. erinpac's Avatar
    I wouldn't immediately expect your phone to be totally compromised. That isn't *that* much information. If either of you have your contacts syncing with google, then that information is probably all available to anyone who might get to either of your gmail accounts, or anyone who compromised even just the email password, which is probably more vulnerable than your phone. It may not even have required that much - it is often quite easy to find out someone's cell number. Going from person to number is easier than the other way around. Even a vague acquaintance could probably do that, and connecting someone with *one* known contact and a nickname is frequently easy as well. Either your or his Facebook may have that, or a mutual acquaintance's Facebook, or any number of similar sites. It doesn't even have to be *your* post. To think that info isn't available, you'd have to believe nobody that both of you know has ever mentioned both your names in the same context.

    Though, it is likely not a complete stranger, though it may be an acquaintance or friend of a friend. There seems to be little to gain for a stranger, and they'd be gambling that you didn't physically run into Bill immediately or have some other reason to completely ignore the exchange. As you text frequently, the timing could be an easy coincidence. Have you told the real Bill what happened? Since it may be someone he knows, or his email could have been the information source, there is reason to tell him.

    Also, as far as the driving to another town... ehh... it doesn't hurt, but if your house is yours and not a rental, your name and address are publicly posted in tax records, usually available online, even if you did keep yourself out of the phone book.
    Aquila likes this.
    04-25-2014 09:09 AM
  7. STARGATE's Avatar
    Hello Bellarmine, welcome to the forums! 🙌

    It's sad when things like this happen.

    You can add that phone number to the Spam numbers on the text message app and in the calling app you can add that number to the Reject list.
    Let me know if you need further help to find these options. I'll try to post screenshots later if you want.

    Sent From Inside The TARDIS in a Galaxy S4 Away!
    04-27-2014 01:34 PM

Similar Threads

  1. HELP!! att i337 s4 phone calls not working well
    By canadiancrab in forum AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-01-2014, 03:16 PM
  2. Power button 4 screen, alerts (help)
    By Bobbie629 in forum Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-25-2014, 11:07 AM
  3. Setting a downloaded ringtone as a text tone?
    By Victor Franklin in forum Wallpapers, Ringtones, and Themes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-24-2014, 12:24 PM
  4. MMS text messages not downloading to Galaxy SII phone.
    By Gary Casimir in forum Samsung Galaxy S II
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-24-2014, 10:07 AM
  5. [HELP] Encryption Issue after return to stock
    By Sam Wiles in forum Samsung Galaxy S4 Rooting, ROMs & Hacks
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-24-2014, 09:18 AM