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I have a question and a story, since things aren't completely clear in my mind how iMessage and FaceTime work.

If someone sends me an iMessage / FaceTime call, does it mean they have other contact information about me?


I received a Facetime call request that came up with the email address amelia.thompson03@hotmail.co.uk which I did not answer as I do not know anyone by that name. I then received an imessage from 'her' saying hi its amelia thompson and was this emelia stone (a name that is attached to an email account I set up years ago but not in fact my real name). I asked how they knew Emelia Stone and they replied that they were in her class. Not likely as she is a fictitious character.

I decided to leave it at that but have since received two further facetime requests and several more imessages including a grand total of 16 picture messages of One Direction's Harry Styles, to which I responded in no uncertain terms that I did not wish to be contacted again..

I'm inclined to find the whole thing rather amusing but it is obviously not acceptable and I'm interested to find out how on earth somebody could contact me, not via regular email spam, but directly to my iPhone.

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Just a side note — It's helpful if your question is a bit more visible, rather than buried in the middle of paragraphs of text. (I'm not angry, it's just that people are less likely to answer your question if you don't state it directly. =P) –  daviewales Feb 6 '13 at 14:25
    
I'll try to edit this to make the questions clearer. I see two questions at the core, so feel free to edit one out and just ask the second question as a second question. One of the rules we like here is one question per question. It lets you and everyone vote on the one answer that best fits the one question. With two or more, things break down and are not useful to others looking for help. –  bmike Feb 7 '13 at 14:30
    
Also - did you receive FaceTime calls or are you just concerned that someone that could send an iMessage could also send a FaceTime call? –  bmike Feb 7 '13 at 14:43

1 Answer 1

In short, your account wasn't hacked or compromised if someone you don't know places a call or SMS or iMessage or FaceTime call to your address.

Sadly, you can't easily block or change your iMessage and FaceTime account today, but if this grows, I would expect a way to block things just like the phone company now has various options for blocking unwanted calls even though they did not have such blocking in the past.


When you register for iMessage, you tell Apple either your email address or your phone number. Anyone else with iMessage can add your email address or phone number, so in that respect this is exactly like email spam.

In the physical world, someone can put a letter on your doorstep if they physically can make a letter and drop it off. Similarly, anyone with an iMessage/FaceTime account can enter any address and press send. Apple will deliver that message to you if your account is listening to the address the sender placed.

In many cases, people have several addresses in iMessage, and merely sending a message to an email associated with your Apple ID doesn't compromise your phone number, password, location or any other details about you by the mere fact that a message was delivered.

It's hard to tell whether the person has any information other than your email address, because it's probable they just guessed it. Email spammers use computers to generate millions of possible email addresses, and hope that some of them work. Also, the world is large, there could be thousands of people whose parents named them (or they chose an identity) the same as your fictional creation. Without engaging the sender or additional sleuthing, you may not be able to tell if this is a prank, intentional marketing for One Direction or a coincidence.

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Surely that poses a massive privacy and data protection controversy? I'm assuming the only way to avoid it is to turn off imessage? –  Not Emelia Stone Feb 6 '13 at 14:23
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Would you think it was a privacy or data protection controversy if they called you using your number, or emailed you using your email? It's the same thing. (If they just guessed your email or phone number, then they don't know anything that you haven't told them.) –  daviewales Feb 6 '13 at 14:30
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I'll try to be more basic. In order to prevent unknown entities from contacting me on my personal telephone via facetime and imessage, do I have to change my settings to deactivate imessage and facetime? –  Not Emelia Stone Feb 6 '13 at 15:22
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If you want to prevent this particular user from contacting you, you could try changing email accounts. You could also just remove your email account from Facetime, and rely on your phone number. This would mean that you could still potentially be contacted, but only if someone knew your phone number. –  daviewales Feb 6 '13 at 15:31
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An addendum to this issue: the upcoming iOS 7 adds the ability to block unwanted callers from contacting you via phone, iMessage, or Facetime. –  Dan J Jul 29 '13 at 21:24

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