What would be your reaction if you buy a new iPhone and find your phonebook filled with personal contact numbers of hundreds of A-List celebrities including Adele and Nick Grimshaw? This is not a fairy tale or fable because the same has actually happened to a female who bought a brand new iPhone 5S.
Sophie Highfield from Erdington, Birmingham, bought the new phone from Three Mobile in June 2014 and after a while, she discovered that there were personal contact numbers of countless celebrities stored in her phonebook. Some numbers began with the UK code +44 while others were from the US since they displayed the code +1.
She identified the presence of so many new contacts when she typed the letter M to search for her mom’s number and suddenly she saw numbers of four other moms appearing on her screen. She started checking out other letters and with every try, she discovered phone numbers of popular personalities including Olympic athletes, television and music industry celebs and even Radio 1 DJs.
“I didn’t notice it at first because the contacts aren’t in my address book but when I go into messages to send a text and type in the letter ‘A’, it comes up with ‘A’ for Adele,” says Sophie.
Also included were somewhat weird contacts such as ‘Mark Pest Control,’ ‘Lev the Ledge,’ Kieran Window Cleaner,’ and ‘Suzie Next Door.’ Then there were numbers of BBC personnel and production team members of a number of popular TV shows including Britain’s Got More Talent and the Loose Women.
Surprisingly, the 31-year old Highfield felt annoyed at receiving so many numbers of popular personalities without even asking for it. According to Highfield:
“It is quite annoying having them all there. The phone was supposed to be brand new and completely untouched. I actually have no idea how many numbers there are. There must be hundreds. I haven’t purchased these numbers they’ve just fallen into my hands.”
Highfield had, however, a bit of a clue about how it might have happened.
“I feel like it is a data breach. I’ve not been entirely sure what to do. It’s kind of a big thing.”
In her opinion, the data was pre-loaded in the mobile that she bought way back in 2014 and apparently all these celebs were iPhone users. She further informed that apart from Adele and Nick Grimshaw, her phone has numbers of Radio 1’s Greg James, Spice Girl band member Emma Bunton, comedian David Williams, Fashion icon Gok Wan, late actress Lynda Bellingham, Matt Willis from Busted, Denise Welch from Loose Women, Only Fools and Horses’ Nick Lyndhurst-Rodney and gold-medal winner long jumper Greg Rutherford to name few.
It seems like an iCloud glitch due to which the numbers appeared on the phone or, the phone was not brand new but previously belonged to someone working in the media. However, it is rather irritating that even after conducting investigations for months, Apple couldn’t identify the glitch that caused this issue.