‘Find my iPhone’ feature sends dozens of people to this Atlanta home


‘Find my iPhone’ feature sends dozens of people to this Atlanta home

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Contributed by Christina Lee and Michael Saba
A couple says phone tracking software like "Find my iPhone" leads dozens of people to this Atlanta home.

A technological mishap pointing “Find my iPhone” users to one Atlanta house is baffling its residents, Christina Lee and Michael Saba.

The Vine City couple told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, since last February, about 25 people have come to their home — sometimes with police in tow — demanding the pair return their stolen phones.

“It’s very sporadic,” Lee said. “More often than not, it happens in the evening at around 8:30 at night or 12:45 in the morning.”

Lee, a journalist, and Saba, an engineer, are in their 20s and live in a house that belongs to Lee’s parents.

The couple told the AJC they don’t have the missing phones. The couple said the home was purchased by Lee’s parents while it was undergoing renovations, and they don’t know much about the previous owners.

The most recent incident happened around two weeks ago, they said, when Saba heard someone ringing the doorbell frantically after midnight.

When Saba answered the door, a group of three or four young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 began frantically asking, “Where is he? Where is he? Where is he?”

“After a couple minutes, I explained this happens all the time; they calmed down a little bit,” Saba said.

The couple said people who come to their door are always suspicious, but that most eventually understand what it going on.

“I am afraid that someone who is not so reasonable will show up,” Saba said.

Lee and Saba have tried various remedies to solve their problem, they said. They have reset their router to its factory settings, changed the router’s broadcast frequency, updated the encryption and registered their Wi-Fi with Skyhook — a location service — to improve their geographic accuracy.

Theories abound among experts as to what’s happening: The problem could be a cell tower glitch, inaccurate information in the locator databases or an actual thief living nearby who is “spoofing,” or directing locators to the couple’s home.

The couple said they have reached out to the police, government officials and the Federal Communications Commission, but have not found a solution to their problem.

But the people keep coming.

“We have had people coming forward to help investigate,” Saba said. “Everyone just kind of shrugged and said, ‘This is someone else’s deal.’ ”

Lee and Saba said their next steps include filing an FCC complaint and writing to their local senator.

"We shouldn’t be exactly used to random people showing up at our house,” Lee said.

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