Christina Lee and Michael Saba, a young couple living in a suburb of Atlanta, are in a frustrating and potentially dangerous situation: Strangers keep showing up to their house at all hours of the day and demanding lost phones with tracking apps that have led them to Lee and Saba’s address. But Lee and Saba are not serial phone thieves and no one—not even telecommunication experts—are willing or able to figure out why the apps have pinpointed their home as a hot bed for missing phones.
Since February of 2015, Lee and Saba estimate that they’ve been visited by strangers more than a dozen times. Once, they were even investigated by police over a missing girl whose phone showed her located at their address.
Usually, they tell Fusion, people leave after a polite explanation, but sometimes strangers are reluctant to believe them.
“My biggest fear is that someone dangerous or violent is going to visit our house because of this. If or when that happens, I doubt our polite explanations are gonna go very far,” Saba says.
So far, Lee and Saba have gotten no support from phone companies in their quest to find out why lost phone apps keep leading people to their house. The Federal Communications Commission also declined to help.
Fusion’s Kashmir Hill writes:
The missing phones don’t seem to have anything in common. Some are iPhones. Some are Androids. They’re on different carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile. Saba and Lee don’t know who can fix it because there’s no obvious guilty party. They filed a complaint with the local police department but that hasn’t helped. They’ve already had two visits in 2016.
A Las Vegas resident experienced a similar quandary in 2013, but all the phones were under the same carrier (Sprint). On the recommendation of experts, Lee and Saba—both at the end of their ropes—are filing complaints with the FCC and their senator.
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