Tracking Down a Prank Caller

I met a nice girl, we exchanged a few emails (about 3), and shortly afterwards my father became extremely ill with Stage 4 Cancer. I told her everything and said it wasn’t the right time for me to speak.

She emailed me back and wanted to continue speaking, but I re-explained the reason why I couldn’t. She sent me a few Gtalk messages, asking random questions about different things and I was polite. But sometimes I would simply not reply to her messages. I wasn’t interested and it wasn’t the right time.

So, around the same time I started to “Restricted Number” calls on my cell. I would say “Hello? Hello?” and would hear no answer. I would hear nothing and just hang up. After a few calls, I started to answer my phone but not say anything, and eventually the other end would hang up. But the calls still continued.

Clearly these were *67’ed calls. Now, I’m not one to be trifled with when it comes to technology. But when I went to my phone bill, the calling number came out blank. Then I learned that if you forward your calls to an 800 number, the 800-number receives the caller information no matter what even if you use *67.

So, I setup my phone to forward all missed calls to an 800-number, which would then kick the call back to me. There were some odd side-effects, such as ignored calls being kicked back to me, but it seemed to work. Then I waited…

After two days, I received my first “Restricted Number” call. About three came in less than an hour. I hit ignore on them and recorded the source of the call. I searched the number on my Gmail and it just so happened…it was the girl. What the heck? Why was she calling me?

So now I had three options before me:

  1. Prank call her back;
  2. Act oblivious and ignore her;
  3. Confront her about it.

Option 1 was kind of immature and vindictive, I didn’t plan on speaking her again anyways, so while Option 2 was feasible but I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Option 3 seemed most reasonable.

So I wrote her a short email, explaining what I had been getting, what I found, and asked her to explain it.  I did it with tact, clearly here was someone who attached to me, even though we had only spoken a few times, and perhaps had some strange disturbances. I definitely don’t want to break her heart or humiliate her. My friend gave me the advice that breaking the heart of someone is worse than destroying the Ka’ba.

She replied saying that someone had been spoofing her calls, checking her email and pranking people. I’m one to give people the benefit of the doubt, crazy stuff happens all the time. But honestly, the average person doesn’t know how to spoof calls. Also, the average person wouldn’t spoof a call, then *67 it atop that. And the average person wouldn’t randomly call me of all people.

Another factor that leads me to believe its her is that the calls correlate with when she’s online and when she’s off. She will call me at 2am when she knows that I’m online via my gtalk status. She’s also called me while she’s offline, and I can hear in the background the sound of her driving in a car.

So while I’m not going to humiliate her, I have no doubt that its her. And while writing this post, I received another call. Time to block and cut her off entirely.