Wrong number: Missouri girl’s phone swamped with calls seeking Arizona COVID-19 hotline

Missouri girl’s phone swamped with calls seeking Arizona COVID-19 hotline

SULLIVAN, Mo. — An 8-year-old girl from Missouri is happy to have a cellphone, but not thrilled that strangers keep calling to ask about COVID-19 vaccine information in Arizona.

Sophia Garcia, of Sullivan, used to live in Arizona, so her hand-me-down iPhone has a Phoenix telephone number, KTVI reported. Unfortunately, it is one digit off from Arizona’s COVID-19 vaccine helpline, according to KTVK.

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The third grader’s phone has been ringing, even late at night.

“Every five minutes my phone keeps ringing,” Garcia told KTVK.

“Out of the blue and at all hours of the day-night, 24-7,” Emily Lewis, Garcia’s mother, told KTVI.

Lewis listened to voicemails and searched the internet and finally figured out that the Arizona health department’s phone line was a single digit off from Garcia’s phone, KTVK reported.

“We’re thinking that people are just getting the phone number stuck when they’re dialing it, and that’s how they’re reaching her phone number,” Lewis told the television station. “We just went through and deleted probably 30 to 40 phone calls.”

On Thursday, the family decided they needed to take stronger action. That came after a 75-year-old woman left a message, saying that “I’ve tried your website and it will not go through it keeps coming back please help me,” KTVK reported.

Garcia decided to record a message for her voicemail.

It says, in part, “Hi, you’ve reached Sophia’s iPhone. if you’re looking for a COVID vaccine, their number is,” and she gives the number, repeating it for emphasis, according to KTVK.

“We’re thinking that people are just getting the phone number stuck when they’re dialing it, and that’s how they’re reaching her phone number,” Lewis told the television station.

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