Couple receives cellphones from store loaded with old information

Couple receives cellphones from store loaded with old information »Play Video

HILLSBORO, Ore. - You can scroll through the contacts on one of the cellphones Neil and Debbie Scott received.

You can also scroll through photos and other information.

Neil Scott called KATU after dad went to the Go Wireless store at Northeast 122nd and Halsey in Portland to add his cellphone to his son and daughter-in-law’s account.

Instead, the Go Wireless store sold Neil's dad a new phone, plus a 2-year contract that costs $50 more a month.

When Neil and Debbie Scott complained, the store started sending them spare, used cellphones hoping that would help make up for the added costs.

That’s when the Scotts saw all the phones they’d received had photos, contacts and other digital information already stored on them.

Debbie Scott called the Go Wireless store manager.

“I was concerned,” Debbie said. “So I called him and he said 'I should have wiped it but I didn't have time and if you're concerned about it just throw it away.”

“One phone that I sent back to Verizon already,” said Neil. “Had a bank account on it from Wells Fargo.”

And the Scotts say Verizon told them all the phones were also still registered to someone's account.

The manager at the Go Wireless store declined to do an interview about why the phones were sent out with old digital information still on them.

How does one of the former phone owners feel?

“I mean, a little bit alarming,” that owner told KATU News when reached through her old cellphone number. “I guess, knowing that my information is out there and being given to a random person.”

She thought the phone's data was wiped clean when it was exchanged for a new phone.

“Yeah, yeah it really does,” she said. “Um, I don't know why someone would think that no one would care.”

Neil adds, “If you're supposed to dispose of it in your recycling. You're responsible to take it and clean it out before you even do anything with it.”

Go Wireless is a nationwide authorized retailer for Verizon products and services.

Go Wireless says it's investigating this case, and protecting their customer's personal information is very important.

Neil and Debbie aren't taking any chances with that Motorola Razr phone. They're returning to the former to make sure it doesn't end up in the wrong hands.