Find My iPhone is the best way to recover a lost iOS device, but it doesn’t always work as planned. Atlanta couple Christina Lee and Michael Saba are learning this the hard way after getting constant visits from iPhone owners who are being wrongly directed to their home.
The first visit came the first month Lee and Saba moved into the house, and they’ve had iPhone owners knocking on their door ever since. One months, four people came to collect their lost device, Fusion reports, and they call at all hours of the day.
The visitors, who show up in the morning, afternoon, and in the middle of the night, sometimes accompanied by police officers, always say the same thing: their phone-tracking apps are telling them that their smartphones are in this house in a suburb of Atlanta.
But Lee and Saba don’t have any of the lost iPhones, and they do not understand why Find My iPhone keeps sending people to their address. “I’m sorry you came all this way. This happens a lot,” they have to tell disappointed visitors.
While most believe them, others become suspicious and claim Lee and Saba are lying. “My biggest fear is that someone dangerous or violent is going to visit our house because of this,” Saba told Fusion. “If or when that happens, I doubt our polite explanations are gonna go very far.”
On one occasion, police turned up to Lee and Saba’s home to search for a missing person. They had to sit outside for an hour while the police decided whether or not they should get a warrant to search the property.
It’s understandable that iPhone owners might get upset after losing their device — especially if Find My iPhone is telling them that Lee and Saba have it. It’s not just iPhones, either; Android owners have also been wrongly directed to the same house.
But no one knows why. “I consulted experts and phone companies to try to figure out what’s happening. They were stumped,” reports Kashmir Hill. Apple and Google were unable to help, and neither could carriers or the FCC.
Saba and Lee now plan to file a complaint with the FCC and with their senator.