iMessage: Non-Apple User's phone number mysteriously now associated with iMessage

Posted:
in iCloud
My neighbor does not own any Apple products.

After texting with them from my iPhone for years, the messages suddenly turn blue and get "delivered" confirmations when I text them.  They are still using their Android.  

They confirmed that no one in the house has an iPad, iPod, iAnything.

Foul play?  Could someone have taken the SIM card from her phone, put it in an iPhone, associated the number with their Apple ID, and then returned her SIM to her phone? 

I can't get her to call Apple about it, so it is what it is.  However, I used to do iCloud (iOS in general) support and this has me a bit stumped.  

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,901member
    Does her SIM have a PIN code set?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,545moderator
    My neighbor does not own any Apple products.

    After texting with them from my iPhone for years, the messages suddenly turn blue and get "delivered" confirmations when I text them.  They are still using their Android.  

    They confirmed that no one in the house has an iPad, iPod, iAnything.

    Foul play?  Could someone have taken the SIM card from her phone, put it in an iPhone, associated the number with their Apple ID, and then returned her SIM to her phone? 

    I can't get her to call Apple about it, so it is what it is.  However, I used to do iCloud (iOS in general) support and this has me a bit stumped.  
    Maybe the carriers are doing some kind of RCS translation:

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/02/sprint-and-rogers-connect-for-imessage-like-rcs-texting/

    SMS isn't encrypted:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207006

    When the carriers detect an incoming SMS, they could translate it to a message that uses the data network rather than the voice network:

    http://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-sms-280988/

    Carriers will likely phase out SMS/MMS eventually.

    What would be useful to have is a service that offers proxy messaging numbers. This way you don't have to give out your main cell number for messaging. When all the messaging services are data-based, you can use proxy numbers like domain names. If you wanted to sell something online, you could just give out the proxy number for the sale and then drop it once the sale is done.

    It will decrease the reliance on apps like WhatsApp, this is the only reason people started using those kind of apps.
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