Crossed wires: Sometimes two people can be given the same number. Photo: Photo: Andrew Quilty
A West Australian woman claims her nine-year-old grandson was given the same mobile phone number as a brothel in Melbourne.
Caller Margaret told WA radio station 6PR on Wednesday that she was furious when she found out what had happened.
“All these men kept calling and …I tell you what I was livid,” she said.
Who ya gonna call? Potentially either Nic Naitanui or a random person in Queensland. Photo: Getty Images
“It was such a shock because he couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t understand it.”
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Margaret came forward with her story after it was revealed West Coast Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui was also given the same number as another person.
A person with the pseudonym “Wrong Number” contacted 6PR to say the same mobile number given to the Eagles big man had also been accidentally issued to someone in Queensland.
To see if the rumour was true, 6PR breakfast announcer Basil Zempilas got on the phone to Naitanui to find out.
“So Nic answers the phone and I say we have this email to the rumour file … wrong number, blah, blah and I say where are you mate?,” he said.
“And he says, and this is not a joke, ‘I’m at the Apple Store buying a new phone’. He said he had no idea how it happened and nobody could explain how it happened.”
Naitanui’s manager, Paul Connors, was contacted about the mobile mix-up but did not want to comment on the situation.
Technology guru Trevor Long told Fairfax Media he hadn’t previously encountered the “mobile number sharing” phenomenon but inquiries he had made showed it was possible.
“The information I got talking to people is it is possible for two people to get the same number,” he said.
“For this to happen, it would almost certainly mean one or more of the checks and balances within the provisioning system of the telco must have failed.
“In theory it could happen, but it’s such a remote chance.
“If it did happen it wouldn’t last long. The security teams at the networks would flag it almost immediately.”
Users of the broadband forum Whirlpool have also reported having issues over the years.
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have been contacted for comment, as well as the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, an industry group which represents Australian mobile carriers.
with staff writers