Beth Freestone, lost her iPhone on a night out in Manchester
A student who had her phone stolen was sent a message months later from a woman who claimed to have found it and demanded her passwords so she could use it.
Psychology student Beth Freestone, from Grantham in Lincolnshire, was left devastated when her iPhone was stolen on a night out in Manchester.
Months later the 18-year-old was stunned to receive a message on Facebook from a woman claiming to have found the phone and demanding Beth’s iCloud passwords so she could use it herself.
The unashamed message read: ‘Hi, I hope you don’t mind me asking but I was given this phone that I believe you lost and I’m just using it for 2 weeks whilst mine is repaired but I am unable to use it without the password for iCloud is it possible to get it so I can sign out and into my own account. Thank you in advance xx’ [sic]
In a further insult, when Beth sent the woman £5 after she agreed to send the phone back, she kept the cash then blocked Beth so she could no longer contact her.
The 18-year-old was stunned to receive a message on Facebook from a woman claiming to have found the phone and demanding Beth’s iCloud passwords so she could use it herself
The woman sent a photo of her phone and promised to send it back – but kept the £5 and blocked Beth
Beth said: ‘I had been in Manchester and at the end of the night I realised I didn’t have my phone with me.
‘I had to get a new one and I think I spent about £700. It was annoying but I just thought it was one of those things and I’d never see my lost phone again.
‘Five months later, in July, I’d just finished work and I saw that I had a message request on my phone.
‘A person was claiming to have my phone and was honestly asking for my iCloud details so that she could use the phone properly while hers was being repaired.
‘She even asked me if I wanted any pictures from the phone, like she was doing me a favour and then thanked me in advance, I couldn’t believe it.
‘I just thought she was so cheeky and I was stunned. I wouldn’t even dream of asking someone that. I would have been asking if they would like me to send it back – not asking for passwords.’
The woman has made numerous excuses for not sending the mobile back to its owner
Beth added: ‘At first I wanted to make sure that she definitely had my phone so I got her to send me some pictures of it and take pictures of what was on the camera roll.
‘I knew it was mine then but I still didn’t feel comfortable handing my iCloud passwords over because they are linked to my bank cards.
‘I asked her if she could send it back and sent her some postage money over. She agreed to do it but then she never sent it. She kept making excuses.
‘She blocked me on Facebook and then disconnected her mobile number so I haven’t been able to get hold of her again.
‘My friends also sent her a few text messages when she stopped messaging me but she still didn’t send it over and was a bit aggressive.’
Despite friendly messages offering to send the phone back, the woman kept it – and the £5 given to her to cover postage
One message from the culprit read: ‘Phoning the police would do f*** all because I haven’t stolen a phone so don’t try and threaten me and stop calling me off no caller ID it will cost you money when I’m away.’ [sic]
The woman continued: ‘Unfortunately I work two jobs and am not able to get to a post office with ease so it’s just how it worked out that I haven’t been able to send it.
‘It will get send when it gets sent its not a crime as I found it not stole it and am doing you a favour but if you continue to harass me it going in the bin so allow it.’ [SIC].
Beth didn’t have a tracking app to find her phone and didn’t report the incident to police.
After threatening messages warning her not to inform the police, Beth finally exposed the woman on social media and her post amassed some 20,000 retweets and likes.