Crossed lines and the continuing mystery of 07490170731

I wrote the following post last night and I know it was posted because its on my FB wall (friends have commented too) and posted to twitter correctly. I even found a Google Cached version of it here. But looking at my WordPress install there is no sign of it at all!

googlecache-version of 07490170731

Since yesterday I tried to call O2 to say there was a problem but line went quiet for 10mins and I got more text messages.

Merry xmas to you and family..****** and david 1:30 PM
We might be doing a surprise visi .make sure in 1:37 PM
Eh!!!??? Wtf!!!???
So I replied, expecting my number to be blocked but I explained they got the wrong number. I wouldn’t care so much but theres a number of weird things happening including the deletion of my blog post!
Anyway here’s the blog I originally wrote…

Every once in a while you feel like the something is emerging, like skynet is reaching centennial status or something. Or more likely GCHQ and others have made some kind of mistake. Its almost like those number counting stations.

A friend who I haven’t heard from in almost 2 years suddenly got in touch. It was so weird and the caller ID was unknown to my work mobile phone, which was forwarded to my personal mobile phone. I briefly spoke to my friend but the line was terrible (but I was in starbucks to be fair so thought little about it) she called me back from another number – This time 07490170731 (which I added to her contact). I could hear her but it was weird like there was a crossline or something. Like somebody was listening and I could hear their breathing. On both times I could hear her but she couldn’t hear me much. I said about the heavy breathing and coughing which was male. She said she could hear it and would give me a call back another time. She also said I had called her…?

I got a text from that number at 6:38pm (23rd dec) saying it was her and at 6:48pm the same day. “Sorted had a cross line..”

I replied saying something like… Ummm I dont think you can crosslines on a digital siginal?

Which prompted this tweet, after some searching…

It was so weird but things got weirder…. after calling the friend on the mobile number again and texting. Going to a voice mail machine of as it sounded like a vehicle recovery centre or something. I then got another call with her and the rough man coughing. She could kind of hear me and I said about the man and that somebody was listening in before hanging up. It was her and she responded like she would, so no recording or someone putting her up to it as such.

I got more texts asking if I’m ok, and what was I doing tomorrow? This is when I decided to not text back and contact her via Facebook and Twitter DM. With every message that came through, I replied saying look at your twitter dm and fb.

In the morning I got messages from the same number this time saying it was ******* from **** shop. I said wtf? I’m sorry ****** has been using this number to contact me. This was about 10:10am.

Then while sitting in the Arnolfini cafe, I got messages saying…

Did you just tex a lady called ****** .and who areYOU


****** is my wife..and who is **** ..and where is the shop..please

I then got a call from David ******** telling me to take him off speaker phone and stop messing about. I obviously didn’t have him on speaker but he was distant like the calls previously with my friend (no man coughing though). After putting down the phone I got…

Who are you and why playing just tex my wife.and who is **** again.

After a while I got this…

Ive reported to my service name is david ****** and an gonna block your number

Nothing since, but I’ve not called or texted that number since. Also nothing from my friend but I did text her old numbers just in-case.

Finally I spent some time researching online 07490170731. Out of the stuff I found, this was the most interesting and confirmed the apps which forward my sms’s, the phone provider and my friends wasn’t having a laugh.

In the last 3 days

Jessica 3 daysI’m looking for the name of the owner of the number 07490170731?

Alfie 3 dayswho is the owner of this number 07490170731 ?

Chloé 3 daysCan you help me to find out who owns this number 07490170731 ?

I still don’t know whats really going on behind the number but I’ll be recording the next call if I get one. I have a log of all my text messages anyway and use a app to log calls times to my google calendar anyway. The audit trail is all there at least. I removed identifiable names, just incase its one massive prank or some kind.

Why blog this, especially in the early hours of Christmas day? No idea, I find it slightly bizarre like I scratched up against the side of the matrix or something. Too weird to explain to the people I have including my parents and friends.

Happy Christmas!


Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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