They don’t make cell phones like this anymore.
Yesterday, as I was cleaning the basement, I found a personal relic: A Qualcomm cell phone from, looks like, 1999. The phone carries the Bell Atlantic Mobile brand, which existed until mid 2000, when the company became Verizon following the merger with GTE.
I hit the “pwr” switch, expecting no response. But, miraculously, the phone powered up. Keep in mind, this phone has collected dust in my basement for about eight years. Disturbing, however: The phone comes up with my old phone number and it makes calls. I did one test call, then stopped. It’s not my number, anymore. I’m not sure how best to dispose of the phone, because of the active number.
I wouldn’t want someone racking up phone calls for the person who has the number.
That said, I’m deeply troubled that the phone works. In theory—and I have no intention of finding out—dialing 611 could give access to the current number holder’s account. That’s another reason for carefully disposing of the phone: Identity theft, by gaining access to one account and using the information to gain access to others. The thought just chills me.
If this were a GSM phone, the SIM card would be removable and easily destroyed. I’ll probably call Verizon and ask what’s the best way to dispose of the phone.