That phone number

A close friend came back into the country and got a SIM, which was given some new phone number.  Within a day I was subject to an inquiry whom I am associating with.  What happened?

Tax season was upon us.  The phone bill was analyzed.  I had calls to and from a number that didn’t fit an assumed pattern.  The number was looked up in an Internet search, and apparently …

That phone number had been used by a person engaged in disreputable activities.  Yuck.

From then on we made sure not to use that number for outside business contacts, and not to extend it beyond the month it was paid for.  For a couple of weeks though, some friends and relatives have a number in our call logs that could raise a flag in a thorough investigation into our characters.

Takeaway:  If getting a new phone number, when asked whether the number suggested by the vendor is OK, maybe before accepting you should do an Internet search, and if results are too weird ask to try a different number.

Also, we could not easily tell the time span or year when that number had been used by that earlier subscriber.  Startling, but not worth more effort to find out.

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