Wrong Number Flirt

So this morning I started got a SMS from a number I didn’t recognize and the conversation that ensued was interesting:

As you can see I redacted the number. After the dance floor comment and before the “last night” I Googled the number, thinking it was probably someone I know, as I have many friends who dance quite well, and have trouble with the shift key on their phones. The first hit led me to a Facebook group created by the very same young lady who received a wrong number at a club last night. My favorite part on this page is where it says “Privacy Type: Open: All content is public.”

I’m speechless! I put my number out there, but it’s a pretty deliberate action. I wonder if these folks know exactly what’s out there.

33 thoughts on “Wrong Number Flirt

  1. You may want to wipe out the name of the group–I found the group by its name on Facebook. Pretty scary stuff.

  2. I will admit that I’ve put my number out there for friends on social networks, but good lord, I have NEVER considered doing something *that* stupid like on Facebook. WTF?

    1. I don’t think it’s stupid, it’s just a different understanding and expectation around privacy, in this case of phone numbers. I suspect this was either “didn’t know” or “didn’t care.”

  3. wow. i have had landline calls that were wrong numbers and .. different, but I have never had a text one hahaha so funny~ Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Astonishing and scary – I hope you immediately phoned all those hot girls and let them know that their privacy had been endangered.

    What has been your experience of putting your contact details out there so openly – surely, as a fairly well-known figure, it must lead to a lot of unwelcome interruption?

    Or do you simply route all your calls to Otto now? 🙂

    It would make for an interesting blog post, I can’t think of any other high-profile folks in the tech world doing the same thing, being so contactable.

    One of the biggest stars in movie history, Stan Laurel, had his number listed in the phone directory until he died, much to the surprise of fans who happened to try it.

    1. Scoble has always had his cell phone number right in the sidebar of his blog — I’ve always thought it was pretty ballsy.

    2. I’ve been planning on making my Google Voice number public, but not forwarding it so that all calls go straight to voicemail. I did have the GV Widget to leave me voicemail on my blog for a while, but nobody ever used it.

  5. The first part of your story is pretty funny… the second half not so much.

    Perhaps someday the general public will realize why the rest of us were alarmed with the privacy issues around Facebook.


  6. I don’t think most of these kids this age really care about their digits floating around out there.

  7. Nope, they probably don’t have a clue and that’s pretty typical. I’ve even seen (ie. been invited to) non-private groups with the invitee’s new phone number in the group name… 😡

  8. Wow! That’s just horrible… And the worst thing is that there are dozens of pages like this one on FB. Interesting find Matt!

  9. Wow, that’s happened to me before! I got a text when I still had a cell that said, “Hey, I had fun last night!” And i was so confuzed! I was like, “Who’s this?” n got, “Ur “friend” from last night!” I was all, umm, u have the wrong number!” Ad he said “oh, wait this isn’t Maggie?” I’m all, “N! This is her best Friend!” Turns out, my bff gave him my # by accident! ewwww…….Creep Factor!


  10. Exactly why I don’t have a Facebook profile or anything else too public for that matter. I am a pretty private person and would hate to have my phone number out there for everyone to see. Guess I should put a guard on my domains if that’s the case then.. huh? 😛 Pretty awkward conversation btw.

    1. That’s a really good point — many tech-savvy people put just as much information and more (their address) on their domain registration, including a self-professed privacy-conscious person like you. This is why I want to introduce private domain registration on WP.com.

      1. WHOIS privacy is a bit of a minefield – not providing your actual contact details is a breach of ICANN rules, no exception made for privacy service users, immediate loss of the domain in any UDRP case.

        The UDRP process has become horribly corrupted, there is no mechanism to stop the commercially-driven arbitration forums from chasing ever higher claimant win percentages (their customers are the claimants – the guys who initiate the disputes – and claimants choose which forum to use based on these publicly updated figures) and, as such, the forums will use any excuse or technicality to hand a domain to a claimant. All sorts of domain collectors are taking advantage of this, there’s big money to be made, especially if the current owner has decent traffic.

        Of course, the vast majority of domains used with WordPress.com would be worth too little to be in danger, but anything with a combined brand and SEO value of over a grand will increasingly be a target. A few high-profile losses, with your privacy service as the named reason, would be at worst a financial liability, at best a PR nightmare for Automattic.

  11. That’s a hilarious wrong number incident!

    I bet none of those people even checked the privacy status of the group they posted their numbers to…

  12. I have also seen people with lost or stolen phones make exactly this sort of request on Facebook, and they always seem to get at least a couple of dozen phone numbers in response.

  13. Weird. I don’t have my phone number on my Facebook profile and I don’t think I give out my number unless absolutely necessary because I hate talking on the phone and often think email will suffice… I have gotten a few random texts before, and when that’s happened I’ve Facebook-searched the number, sometimes with hits, sometimes without.

  14. What did the convorsation entail? I assume this is in a picture, but as I’m blind my screen reader won’t recognize it. Do tell 😉

  15. So what if everybody can see my number?
    No problem.
    Why are people suddenly so obsessed with so called ‘privacy’.
    In the pre-internet era there were Telephone directories with EVERYBODYS telephone numbers in them FFS!

  16. I have made sure my facebook is privacy protected. I have never had my mobile phone online ever 🙂 And online, I go by an alias name to … Only people VERY close to me know my real name and my contact details.

    But this is just downright creepy once the amusement wears off.