Florida couple warning others after receiving threats from alleged cell phone thief

A woman said her cell phone was stolen at the outlet mall, but what happened after that, making it even more shocking.

Tim and Jeanie Silkey say, they were shopping at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, when someone took Jeanie’s iPhone out of the side pocket of her purse. Now deputies are investigating. 

Tim said "We noticed her phone was missing, and I started tracking it immediately."

The couple reported it was lost on the Find My iPhone app and placed their cell number in it. A few days later, after Jeanie got a new phone. Tim says she started receiving these threatening messages, about the stolen cell. 

One of the messages said, "It’s going to be auctioned on the black market with your personal information. Use your identity for loans, and sales on the black market. They’ll even use your pictures of your children, pornography for extortion." The couple said they didn’t believe it.

Tim said the thieves couldn’t use the phone, because it was still linked to the couple’s Apple account. 

According to Apple, users should have secure passwords, two-factor verification, and face or finger recognition on their phones for protection. And as long as that’s in place, information should be protected.

"It’s safety, but we have to be very cautious. Don’t put anything on your phone that we don’t want to see on social media. Someone will try to scam you," said 
security consultant Dave Benson who thinks Jeanie was targeted, as she was shopping. 

"They probably watched her for some time. Anybody that appears to be distracted, not paying attention to what they’re doing are prime targets for pickpockets and other criminal activity like this," said Benson.

Jeanie plans to keep her phone secure when she’s out and about. She's also warning others, 

The couple says they paid $1,200 to replace the stolen phone. Orange County deputies say they haven't seen an increase in cell phone thefts, however, Jeanie says, people are talking about the increase on social media.