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'Find My Phone App' pings wrong house - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

'Find My Phone App' pings wrong house

Photo Source: WGCL Photo Source: WGCL

ATLANTA (WGCL) - It’s a high tech mystery that has the attention of tech experts around the world and it centers on the "Find My iPhone App" that keeps leading people to the wrong home.

Life took an interesting turn for Christina Lee and Michael Saba when they moved into their new Southwest Atlanta home.

“We are still pretty much just as in the dark as when we began unfortunately,” Lee says.

No one knows why the app keeps sending people to their home, but the couple is determined to find out.  

“We have gotten into the habit of asking what app did you use - what phone are you looking for?” she says.

The Sabas have lived here for about a year, and more than once a month, someone stops by looking for a missing phone and sometimes a missing person.

“Someone was really frantically ringing the doorbell,” Saba recalls. 

About two week ago, in the middle of the night, Michael answered the door to a group of angry young men. 

“They just start immediately yelling ,screaming in my face like, 'Where is he ,where is, where is he?'” he says.  

Because it happened so many times before, Michael knew exactly what led  the group to his home, but he worried this time things would turn violent.

“My first thought was, oh my gosh, this is everything I have always been afraid of," he says.

Fortunately, his response quickly calmed them down.

“I went out there immediately with, ‘Hey guys, I think I know what is going on here!’ I directly asked them before they could say anything, 'Did you come here because of a ‘find my phone’ app?'" he says.

It had happened at least a dozen times before, starting shortly after the couple moved in. One time, a police officer detained them for an hour and a half during the search for a missing girl.

“Until the parents of that child refreshed the app and the location pointed them somewhere else that they were like ok we can leave now,” Lee says.

For at least six months now, they've been trying to figure out why random strangers and police officers have been led to their home by the phone tracking app.

“There's all these different ways - there is WIFI tracking, there is cell tower tracking, there is GPS satellite tracking, there is all sorts of different ways you can do this so many different moving parts. it is incredibly difficult to figure out,” Saba says.

Finally, the couple asked for help from the Federal Communications Commission.

“We have checked in with the FCC, I looked at the people who own the nearest cell towers,” he says.

But they say all they’ve really found is the run around!

“Nobody wants to take responsibility for this everywhere we turn… whether it is law enforcement, a government  entity or the corporations themselves, all of them shrug and say, 'This isn't our problem,'” Saba says.

But it is a problem for Christina and Michael, and one that likely won’t go away.

“Moving would feel like quitting at this point. Clearly, I hate to feel like I am subject to forces that are totally out of my control,” he says.

While they continue to search for an answer, the couple is sharing their story as a cautionary tale. Their warning: your smart phone may not be as smart as you think!

“We put our trust in technology and we just assumed my phone is telling me this thing," he says. "It's got fancy location tracking software, so it must be true! We need to be very careful. How accurate is it,  really, like is law enforcement, the courts are they making major legal binding decisions behind something that clearly has a margin of error?”

While the couple has tried reaching out to cell phone companies as well as Find My iPhone App developers, the owners of cell phone towers, the FCC and law enforcement with no luck, they now have new hope.

Last week, a tech blog profiled their problem, and tech experts from around the world are weighing in. Some say their wireless router may have been hacked, so the couple has ordered a new one. Others say it could be a bigger problem-a faulty cell phone tower in the area, but that’s something the couple may not be able to do much about.

In the meantime, they sit and hope and worry about who may come ringing their doorbell the next time.   

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