Author Topic: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls  (Read 372 times)

Offline fox

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iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« on: September 15, 2019, 11:56:03 am »
Two days ago, my wife's iPhone starting receiving call after call, with a lot leaving text messages. Most were from the 705 area code, and a lot of the messages were something like "who are you?". That day, we counted some 150+ calls to her number. Some of the calls had peoples' names; others were anonymous. It appears as though all these people were called from my wife's number, but she didn't make these calls. We started wiping out the messages and texts and blocking the calls. That helped somewhat, but I took the phone to the Koodo booth in the mall yesterday afternoon, and the guy there reset her network. When I returned home, I also recorded a message for her voicemail indicating that we're having a phone problem, we didn't call them and don't leave a message. Since then, the number of calls have gone down drastically and we're now at about 2-3 per hour.

My question is, has this ever happened to you or anyone you know? What could be causing it - phone malfunction, malware app, spoof of her number, another phone number same as hers somewhere, ....? What would you do about it?

I'm hoping that the original problem has been solved or has gone away on its own, and that the phone calls we're getting are from people that were called on that first crazy day. I'm also thinking that if we don't stop getting these unknown calls in a week, we're going to have to either reset her phone, or worse, change her phone number.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 12:43:27 pm »
I haven't had that happen to me but I have had bounceback from email servers that I never sent email to so some mass spammer was spoofing my email address. It's super easy for email and not that much harder for phones, there are software and apps that can do it.

It's probably some mass sender (could be spammer, could be just a corporate mass messaging system). They could be trying to hide the origin or just accidentally entered the phone number for responding incorrectly. The reason it's a lot of messages is because it's likely a robocaller, maybe even political, with the election period having started. And people hate robocalling/robo-messaging.

If it's a mass spammer, you may be in for some continuing rough times. Does your wife use any social media or have her number posted anywhere? If so, have her remove it from all sources. It's easy for scripts to scan online for numbers, even if was something she posted really recently. And she may have added somebody posing as one of her real friends who only friended her (or followed or whatever) in order to get her personal info.

Either way, sorry this is happening to your wife. It will likely settle down as hopefully it was just a mistake and the sender won't do it again. Might take a few days or longer though. And I suggest you contact the CRTC about it, you're likely not the only one experiencing it but they might be able to pressure your phone company to do more.

Blocking numbers can be effective but these are all likely innocents just responding to calls/texts that they think you made and having no idea who you are. Not likely to get repeat callers but if you do, note this.
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Offline fox

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 01:27:31 pm »
Thanks, Jason. My wife doesn't use social media, and she hardly uses her phone. I agree that it has to be a mass sender that did this. Do you think it would be a good idea to answer one of these calls and ask the person on the other end what they actually experienced? Maybe that would give a clue as to whom was originally calling.

It has clearly settled down as we're down to a few calls per hour. I'm hoping that these are "residual", i.e., people who were called during the blitz two days ago.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2019, 10:33:09 pm »
Yeah, asking them what they received might be a good idea in case it was a legitimate but messed-up robocall. Then you can report the organization to the CRTC so they can investigate. Not that it might result in anything but I believe there is a form on the CRTC site for reporting that kind of thing that isn't too involved too fill out. Or you could just look them up and call them for advice on how to handle it.

Also, if your wife has to change numbers, your provider should do this for free considering what you've gone through. But hopefully it's just a one-time blitz as you sayand it doesn't happen again and the calls will slow down and eventually stop. A lot of people I've noticed call back people who have called them even if the person didn't leave a message - they use call display like an answering machine and call back the numbers they see when they get home from work or whatever though this is usually just for home phones that might not have voice mail or an actual answering machine. That could be why you've gotten so many texts saying "who are you?".
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 01:32:28 am »
I have not heard of this phone issue.
If it is case of some robo calling gone berserk, then it may be happening to other people and the issue might get mentioned on the internet.
Besides filling a complaint with the CRTC you probably should report it to the Peterborough police. They may be familar with the issue.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 12:28:44 pm »
Good suggestion, Bill. Be interested to hear if you find out anything, Fox, especially what the response from the Peterborough Police Service is like.
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Offline fox

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2019, 10:28:32 am »
I couldn't get through to the Peterborough Police to either leave a message or talk to a person. However, the calls started dropping off rapidly. We were down to 5 calls or less the last two days. This morning I got one call and picked this one up. It was someone returning a call that she received on September 13, the day the problem started. So it looks like there is no more spoofing or robocalls going on with our phone number. We'll wait until the end of the week before changing our answering machine message back to normal.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2019, 11:50:32 am »
You couldn't get through to the police? Was the line constantly busy? Seems odd. Anyway, I'm glad that the calls have stopped. Did you get any details from the woman about the call she had received?
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Offline fox

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2019, 11:53:45 am »
I got through to the police, but was the system wouldn't take me either to a message or a person. Must have been a glitch. Regarding the callback, I forgot to ask her for details beyond the date she was called with my number. I'll do that next time if I catch another call coming in.
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Offline fox

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 07:23:48 am »
We're now done to the odd unrecognized call on my wife's iPhone. She was receiving 3-5 calls per day for about 10 days after the incident started. So it looks like we've weathered this out. I'm pretty sure that all of the callbacks were related to the spoofing of her number on a single day - some people are just very persistent about returning calls.

I did answer one of the calls about a week ago. The woman I spoke said she was returning a call made on September 13, the day this business started. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her what the message, if any, was about.
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 08:33:55 am »
Hopefully your wife won't have her cell number hijacked, again, in the future.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: iPhone gone bonkers - hundreds of unwanted calls
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2019, 10:41:44 am »
I agree with Bill here. If they can investigate to figure out who it was that called, there are serious fines for spoofing your number in Canada. But if it's out of country, there's not much they can do.
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