What would you do if you if a text from your adult son, who lives 600+ miles away, woke you up at 6 am asking for his social security number?
We asked him to call. And then I called him — no answer.
For 30 minutes I gathered information – I reviewed our shared bank account information, got on facebook and instagram to look for posts and looked to see if I had any phone numbers or passwords for accounts. I was 95% certain he lost his phone and maybe his wallet too.
I started praying for his safety.
After an hour I got a call from his phone. The music was so loud I couldn’t hear well, the person on the phone kept saying, “Mom.” I told him to call when he found a quiet place.Here’s what I thought to do (as my panic grew):
- FIND HIS PHONE: I tried to locate the phone with the FIND MY PHONE app. It found the phone for about 30 seconds and it was 3 hours away where he lives. Then, the locator shut off and, then, his itunes password changed, at that very moment.
- FREEZE HIS DEBIT CARD: Since I am on his bank account I could do this.
- MESSAGE FACEBOOK FRIENDS: I didn’t know who to call, he has been living on his own for 2 years and just changed living arrangements. I messaged 8 of the most recent people that he had posted, focusing on names I had heard him mention.
- SUSPEND HIS PHONE and called Verizon to put phone on LOST/STOLEN list, both reversible, in case I was a crazy mom.
- EMAIL HIM (this was a mistake): I thought he might have a computer with him and told him all my steps so far, I still had no idea where he was. I got an email back about an hour later….this email came from his phone.
- SET HIS PHONE TO WIPE when it re-connected to the internet, after that email from the phone, I knew that he was definitely separated from his phone.
- CHANGE PASSWORDS on the passwords I could access- itunes, bank account.
- GUESS his gmail password and got in and changed it — there I learned that his Credit Card company was suspicious of gas and Wal-Mart charges. That email had been read. – I tried to respond to say those were not Chris charges…but I didn’t know his CC user name and password.
- CANCELLED Debit card and then credit card once I got his log in info.
- RE-MESSAGE FACEBOOK FRIENDS : Once I knew he was safe, I contacted all 8 people to let them know he was found.
4 1/2 hours after the 6 am text I got a phone call from my son – he had been robbed, he was ok. We got his credit card log in information and cancelled the credit card too.
We learned a lot here and will soon post a list of things I want to be ready to do in an emergency.
I WILL NEVER LOOK AT TEXT MESSAGES THE SAME AGAIN.
I WILL ALWAYS BE A MOM AND NEED TO KNOW WHO TO CONTACT.