Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
AlanHo

Android Mobile Phone Expert Needed

Recommended Posts

Are there any android experts here.

 

My wife Libby has a costly problem. Neither of us are mobile phone experts – far from it – perhaps why we can’t understand it.

 

Today she received an Email and separately a text from her mobile phone provider stating that she had spent £197 on calls yesterday and that they had blocked her phone until it was paid.

 

She has a contract giving her 450 free calls and 250MB of data for £10 per month paid by direct debit from her bank account.

 

She assumed it was a scam – but I insisted she opened her account from the O2 web site – and not by the link in the Email – to check it out. Her account did indeed show a phone call made at 16:59 on the 19th November lasting 9.5 hours to a mobile. The number of which was a friend of hers. The cost was £197.  She admitted phoning her friend yesterday – but to his landline and not his mobile.

 

I checked her mobile, opened the phone log and found that the last number listed was to that friend’s landline (not the mobile) at 16:41 on the 19th lasting 18 minutes. Hence the phantom 9.5 hour call started at the time she closed the call made to the landline.  I then checked whether it could still make phone calls but it was barred.

 

I asked her to ring her friend (using my phone)  to discover whether he had received a call from Libby’s mobile at 16:59 yesterday – he confirmed he thought it strange that when yesterday’s landline call ended, his mobile was ringing. The screen showed the call was from Libby’s mobile but when he opened the call there was silence and no-one there. He therefore assumed she had dialled in error and he switched his phone off.  He used his mobile a couple of hours later and didn’t see anything strange.

 

Libby had not used her mobile since yesterday until she received the Email on her laptop today from O2 with the bad news. When she tested her phone and found it barred for outgoing calls.

 

By now she was in a panic and called the O2 customer services who looked at her account and told her it was a scam and to ignore it. She had her smile back.

 

I insisted that it could not be a scam – her phone was barred and her web account, accessed safely, showed the rogue call - but she wanted to believe all was well.
 
I was not at all happy with this situation and took her off to the O2 shop to get some help. The guy looked at her phone and confirmed that the last call made was to her friend’s landline.
I told him that her friend confirmed he had received a call from her mobile but it was a silent call and he had ended the call immediately. So how does he explain that her phone had been barred for a call she did not deliberately make which was not recorded in the phone log. Furthermore, why did customer services confirm it was a scam.

 

He rang customer services himself – spoke to another assistant who found that the account had indeed been charged with the call costing £197 – but that they would not take the payment until her next direct debit on December 10th.
However – they were not able to clarify why the call was not logged on the phone and would refer the matter to their investigating team who would check the network traffic. This would take 5 days, meanwhile they would clear the bar on the phone as a goodwill gesture.

 

I then asked the guy in the phone shop how it was possible for a phone to make the call without Libby instigating it – but he said it was impossible. He said that if her thumb had slid from the red close call button (unlikely) onto her friend’s green phone icon in the address book (very unlikely) to make another call – it would have gone to the landline which is the default and definitely not the mobile.
He called a second assistant over and they discussed the problem with much head scratching and trying various things on the phone but could see no way that Libby could possibly have instigated the call. Furthermore – even if was assumed the phone somehow made the call without her knowledge and her friend had not closed the call properly – the fact that he used his phone later would have meant the total time would have been 2 hours and not 9.5 hours.

 

Since getting home I have played with her phone and mine trying to find a way to make a call by accident when I close a call, without success. Neither can I see how a call made does not appear in the log.

Someone, somewhere might be able to throw light on the problem.  If I don’t get to the bottom of it we will both be nervous wrecks every time we use our mobiles.

 

HELP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can’t help I’m afraid. I hope it gets sorted soon. The only thing that I can offer is that Malware bytes now have an Android app. You get a trial of the paid version free, then pay or continue with the free version. Worth consideration when it has been sorted. All the best with getting it sorted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say how, only thing I can see looking at google is that there have been contaminated aps with adware on Android store and at some unaffiliated sites. It may be worth downloading a reputable android antivirus like avast! or Kaspersky and scanning the phone. All I can say is that as there's nothing in the phone log presumably O2 will correct it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No positive help from me either except to say this sort of thing is one of the main reasons I don't have a contract mobile phone. I use PAYG and never have more than £10 credit. Another advantage of PAYG is that you are not tied to a number so that if you start getting barraged with unwanted communications you can quickly change the SIM. There are disadvantages if you're a frequent user but I am not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any specific answers in mind, but...

  • What make and model is the phone, Alan?  
  • Is there an individual time limit on the 450 inclusive calls?
  • Does the Contact entry for Libby's friend include both mobile and landline number?  If so, the call to his mobile may have been touched inadvertently when the call to his landline was ended.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a Samsung Galaxy A3 2016

Limit - 450 minutes of free calls to end of month.

The contact entry in the address book lists her friend Grahams mobile and landline numbers.

 

I have tried everything I know to inadvertently touch the mobile icon when closing a call - but it is impossible because the address book is not on the screen at that time. Even if she were able to do it by some hidden fluke - why is the call not registered in the log? I am thinking of asking O2 to have the phone for their engineers to examine because they have software to display all calls - including those deleted or failing to show in the log.

 

If the phone did make the call - and if Graham did not close it properly - why did it run for 9.5 hours and only close at 02:00 am the following morning without human intervention.

Also - Graham used his phone 2 hours after the phantom call closed - hence for sure the call could not have been longer than the two hours.

 

Something strange happened that is for sure - hence, I am anxious to find what caused it - to ensure it cannot happen again.

 

Thanks for your thoughts though Irene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly a peculiar thing to happen.

 

The only other thing which occurred to me was, is there a call-back feature on the Samsung which might come into action if the recipient's phone was engaged when first dialled?

 

Alan, your idea to ask O2 to inspect the phone is a good idea.  You certainly wouldn't want that to happen again.  It requires an explanation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An update on the problem

 

O2 contacted Libby last week and reported that after investigation, their server showed that a call was indeed registered in their system and could only have been made by her phone. Consequently she would have to pay the charge of £231 including VAT.  She was not a happy bunny.

 

I then drafted a letter for her to send - it listed the chronology of events which took a first page and ended with the following text on the second page

 

{Quote}

I am extremely upset by this series of events and the conflicting information I have received from O2 so far. I have absolutely nothing to hide and I would welcome your experts examining my Samsung Galaxy A3 2016 phone to see if they can throw light on the matter. Two of your staff at the O2 shop spent 20 minutes trying various things on my phone and were totally mystified by the events.

My concern is not just the £197 that you claim I owe – but the worry that it could happen again if there is a fault on the phone or an undocumented circumstance (not known to your own O2 shop staff) that can cause the problem.

For me to agree with this charge you need to prove to me :-

• How my phone can make a call that is not recorded in its call log
• How my phone can somehow call a mobile number at the time I close a landline call when it is in a clamshell rigid cover
• How my phone somehow managed to make the phantom call and then close it down without human intervention after 9.5 hours when me and my friend were both asleep in beds (48 miles apart)

I have been advised that you have forensic software which enables you to restore lost and deleted information from a phone’s call log.  Which is why I invite you to have my phone examined and the problem properly diagnosed.

I would appreciate your response before my next payment date of December 10th falls due.

{Unquote]

 

Today she received a phone call from O2 to advise her that their experts had not been able to replicate the problem on a Samsung A3 2016 or answer any of the 3 questions at the foot of the letter  - they are as mystified as Libby. Hence they are writing off the charge and will be liaising with Samsung to see if they can explain how it might have occurred.  She has now got her smile back.

 

Between you and I, as an engineer with total faith in electronics in general and smartphones in particular, :laughter: I still think she managed to do something unwittingly on the screen at the instant she closed the landline call. But I don't want to spoil her current mood, or she might get on a line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you thought any more about the free or paid for version of Malware bytes for Android that I suggested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, andsome said:

Have you thought any more about the free or paid for version of Malware bytes for Android that I suggested?

I forgot amidst all the other excitements in my life.  

 

Libby checked her O2 account on the web this morning - and the phantom bill is gone. She also checked her bank account and there has been no direct debit for it. I am confident that is the end of it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎05‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:51 PM, Irene said:

The only outstanding issue is:  Will it happen again?  

I hope not. She is so paranoid about it that she treble checks the phone is off after making a call. We keep a spare phone in the car with loaded with a pay as you go SIM in case either of us go out without our phones. She is using that one until she can use her O2 phone after the 10th December.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×