A friend of mine posted a story on Facebook about her recent experience of having someone steal files from her phone.

I'm not including her name, but she wanted to get her story out so that it didn't happen to anyone else.

Her story is posted below, but I’ll put the TL:DR here:

  • The screen was cracked on her phone.
  • The friend who she brought the phone to said he’d fix it for cheaper than anyone else (he worked at a store that repaired phones).
  • When the phone is returned, she goes through the “Recently Used” apps and realizes that he had gone through her photos and videos, and even emailed several files to himself.

I met with her today, and she told me that she is embarrassed, hurt, nervous, and feels betrayed. She told me that the tech at the repair shop was able to find files that she had deleted (over 4 years ago!) that were intended for her boyfriend ONLY.

What would you do? Would you get the police involved?

Here’s her original post:

So I debated on posting this, but I have to share so it doesn't happen to someone else. It makes me nervous and sick and so embarrassed. I recently brought my phone to someone I have known since I was a kid because he said he could fix the front of my screen. He beat everyone's prices and was doing it at the business he works at. He told me it would take about an hour, so in the meanwhile I went have lunch with my boyfriend. When I came to pick it up, the back of my screen was shattered (did not bring it in that way.) He said I could leave it and he will fix it the next day when the part came in, but I needed my phone so I took it with me. When I opened the part that shows what apps were opened, I saw that EVERYTHING had been opened and gone through! Photos, emails, accounts, EVERYTHING. Not only did he go through this, but also forwarded things to his personal email. Blue tooth was also opened so I have no idea what was taken or even who had them and who he shared them with. I feel so violated and sick. I KNEW THIS PERSON and trusted my phone to him and I can't believe this happened. The things that were opened were files I didn't know I had any more. I deleted them YEARS ago but still he was able to find them. The more I dug, the more I found out. Moral: EVERYTHING you do can be found even if deleted. Don't leave your personal items when getting them fixed. Can't trust anyone. - Facebook

Her Facebook friends were very supportive. One asked if she could take legal action:

I don't know. I'm going to talk to someone about it Monday.

(While speaking with her today she said that her lawyer told her that she has no case if the man who downloaded the photos and videos never shares them.)

Another asked if she had done anything yet:

He's been let go from his position because I called his DM (District Manager). I've changed all passwords and installed firewalls. I'm really concerned about the other things he has now that no one else was supposed to see other than the one person it was intended for.

Other friends offered to do more:

 Want me to go have a talk with him my way?

My friend tells me that the phone repair company has been very supportive: they fired the technician, refunded her money, fixed the original phone, and even gave her a brand new phone after she told them that she didn't feel secure with the old phone (not knowing if the employee had installed any apps that would allow him to spy on her).

She also told me that she now worries about her reputation. "Those files were meant for only one person: the person I sent them to. If these photos are shared online, without explanation, my reputation will be ruined. I feel so violated. I feel helpless."

As she says in her post, she told me that she debated about posting the story but she knew that it was important to warn others.

What would you do? Would you have handled the situation differently? Do you have any advice for her?

 

Facebook