T-Mobile SMS Disclosure

Yesterday while waiting for a friend to arrive for a movie, I got a curious text from an unknown number with a 337 area code, saying that I had the wrong number. Since I had not called or texted that number, I replied as such. A few texts later, the stranger sent a screenshot of their phone showing that I did send them messages.

Looking at my sent messages, the messages received by my friend, and the screenshot from the kind stranger, I figured out what happened to some degree.

I sent a string of text messages to my friend. She received most, but not all of them. For whatever reason on the T-Mobile side, they decided to send a few of my messages to the stranger. Note that my friend and the stranger do not have similar numbers, and that they are in different area codes even.


What is odd is that the stranger got a few of them, but not all, not even all of the ones sent in the same ~ 5 minute period.


Further, my friend got one of the messages that also went to the stranger. So not only were some mixed up and sent to a stranger, one went to multiple people. It’s pretty clear that this was a one-off situation, but it makes me wonder what happened, if it happened to other people, and/or how widespread it was. The obvious implication of this issue is that a sensitive SMS redirected to an arbitrary person could be embarrassing to say the least.

Figured I would document it here for posterity and just in case it happens again to someone else, they can hopefully find prior incidents.


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