Getting locked out of an account can really mess up your day, especially if the verification code was sent to an old phone number.
Luckily for TikToker Malorie Muligan (@malmully), the woman who got her old phone number actually answered her call.
With a friend filming her, Muligan documented her bizarre encounter with the current owner of her old number. The video has been viewed 4.9 million times as of the publication of this article.
It began with the older woman on the phone claiming that the text sent by TikTok had disappeared. “It’s gone. It’s disappeared,” she said before Muligan and her friend explained she needed to go into the Messages app.
Trying to contain their laughter, Muligan and her friend apologized for bothering the woman before she responded, “Yeah, I can’t do this, bye. OK, here’s Messages. I don’t see anything in Messages.”
“Did you see a text?” Muligan asked.
Then, the woman responded with the text number instead of the code.
“That was not it, ma’am,” Muligan responded.
The woman finally read the verification code, to Muligan’s and her friend’s excitement.
Multiple viewers marveled at the idea of calling your old number.
“Why have I never thought of this,” one said.
“This is actually so smart!!!” a second agreed.
Others shared similar experiences.
“This happened to me too and I literally thought they were trying to scam me,” a viewer said.
“I’ve had to do this twice with two different people that had my number. they were nice and helped me without complaining,” another added.
Some pointed out how most people would respond to a stranger asking for a verification code. “I would had hung up,” one wrote.
All in all, it was very fortunate that the older woman was able to locate the message. It may seem simple for people who grew up with this technology, but navigating their phones can be a real challenge for older adults. In fact, technology can be so difficult that two sisters documented how older adults learn to use the internet in a film titled Cyber-Seniors. They did it in an effort to show people how to teach their loved ones to use simple platforms like Facebook and Skype.
Another reason Muligan was lucky the woman answered is that most people would’ve assumed she was a scammer. Scams involving people asking for codes have grown in recent years. Fraudsters frequently ask people to read out codes to set up Google Voice accounts so they can obscure their identities. Others pretend to be companies you’re already dealing with, like your bank. They’ll ask for information and then claim to send a confirmation number through text message. Usually, when a stranger asks for a code, the sensible thing to do is hang up.
The Daily Dot reached out to Muligan via TikTok comments for further information.