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Old August 14th, 2014, 01:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I got a new smartphone today. The clerk made a call to a local number on it.

Hi all!

I got a new Android smartphone from a Verizon store today, and when I come to pick up my phone the clerk had made a call to a local number on it. They said she made a test call to see if it was working. Does that sound legit to you guys? Do store clerks typically do a test call?

Is calling a random local number a sign that the clerk installed malware on my phone?

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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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They usually test call after setting up the line for the customer.

What was the call duration? Shouldn't be more then a few seconds for a test call.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to Android Forums :-)

It sounds reasonable to me, especially considering it would have been easy to remove all trace of the call they made if they were doing anything underhand.

However if you have any doubts you could reset the phone to factory default which would remove all installed user data and apps, bringing it back to the same state it was when they unpackaged it. I'm a bit surprised they didn't do this anyway, but I'm guessing their tests also included any carrier-specific settings they may have made to save you the trouble of setting it up yourself. A factory reset would clear all settings.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
They usually test call after setting up the line for the customer.

What was the call duration? Shouldn't be more then a few seconds for a test call.
Oddly enough it was 51 seconds.

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Welcome to Android Forums :-)

It sounds reasonable to me, especially considering it would have been easy to remove all trace of the call they made if they were doing anything underhand.

However if you have any doubts you could reset the phone to factory default which would remove all installed user data and apps, bringing it back to the same state it was when they unpackaged it. I'm a bit surprised they didn't do this anyway, but I'm guessing their tests also included any carrier-specific settings they may have made to save you the trouble of setting it up yourself. A factory reset would clear all settings.
So would a factory reset remove malware they might have theoretically installed?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's not likely they did anything to the phone. 51 seconds sounds like a possible programming call, a set up call, or test.
I really wouldn't be worried about it, but yes, you can factory reset if you are worried to remove anything.

Just keep in mind that any time you buy a phone from a major carrier, they will have to do something similar to be sure the phone works and is placing the call correctly.
There is also a setup call that some carriers make to set the roaming list and such.

I have never had a problem with any carrier employee messing around on the phone, but if you are worried and don't want to factory reset, call the number yourself and see what it is.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by androidihaveaq View Post
So would a factory reset remove malware they might have theoretically installed?
It would. The clue is in the term "factory reset" :-)

Be aware that it will also clear everything else they may have done, especially settings, so you'll have to set up the phone again from scratch. But if you have nagging doubts it's an easy option that should put your mind at rest.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 02:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Blackflag4 View Post
It's not likely they did anything to the phone. 51 seconds sounds like a possible programming call, a set up call, or test.
I really wouldn't be worried about it, but yes, you can factory reset if you are worried to remove anything.

Just keep in mind that any time you buy a phone from a major carrier, they will have to do something similar to be sure the phone works and is placing the call correctly.
There is also a setup call that some carriers make to set the roaming list and such.

I have never had a problem with any carrier employee messing around on the phone, but if you are worried and don't want to factory reset, call the number yourself and see what it is.
I called the number and a women answered, I woke her up lol. She said that the women who setup my phone "must have made a test call to me". I did not ask why it was 51 seconds tho. So apparently they talked for nearly 1 minute on my phone.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 03:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Probably just a friend who didn't necessarily know it was a "test" call :-)

Personally I wouldn't worry about it, it all sounds reasonable to me.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 03:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Probably just a friend who didn't necessarily know it was a "test" call :-)

Personally I wouldn't worry about it, it all sounds reasonable to me.
Well she said she was a Verizon employe and she was the one who suggested it was a test call. But I am gonna guess your right about the call being innocent.

But about the factory reset, if I do it, will it mess up the phone's ability to connect to the carrier or will it automatically reconnect after the reset?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androidihaveaq View Post
Well she said she was a Verizon employe and she was the one who suggested it was a test call. But I am gonna guess your right about the call being innocent.

But about the factory reset, if I do it, will it mess up the phone's ability to connect to the carrier or will it automatically reconnect after the reset?
factory reset does nothing to the radio's in the phone so you will still be able to use your carriers service. I doubt you have any malware. Bloat that is another story all together. If a carrier was going to install malware on your device then they would tie it in to the system folder in which case the only way to get rid of it would be to root.

From what I have read here you have nothing to worry about and really should just relax and enjoy your new phone.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How could they install malware by making a phone call anyway?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 05:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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They always make a test call after they activate it, to make sure it worked. Its usually the store phone number or store employee. 51 seconds is nothing, probably took a while for the person to answer, or sometimes they let it go all the way to voicemail to make sure everything is working.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 06:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androidihaveaq View Post
I called the number and a women answered, I woke her up lol. She said that the women who setup my phone "must have made a test call to me". I did not ask why it was 51 seconds tho. So apparently they talked for nearly 1 minute on my phone.
See

It was simply a test call.
Hopefully this helps put your mind at ease for this, and any future purchases.

Do you mind me asking what device you purchased?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 06:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't think there is an issue with the call being made. The issue I have though, would be if she was doing a test call she would of simply called the store number to see it went through and not call someone randomly IMO. So my guess is she called someone she knew to test the phone out.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 07:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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They have made the test call to see if it ok? They always used this way and this it sounds fair enough to me
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Old August 14th, 2014, 09:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree with DonB. The employee should have called the store # to prevent any chance of the number being with someone other than Verizon and the customer. Some store policies require employees to make test calls to relieve them of liability from customers saying that the phone was not activated.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 09:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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They usually call any number on hand to do it. When I bought my most recent phone, the guy called his cell to do the test call.
I personally don't care who they call just as long as my phone works.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 08:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Question about reseting phone

Hi, if I perform a factory reset:

1) will that cause my phone to not be able to connect to the carrier? or will after the reset, it will just automatically reconnect to the carrier?

2) will a reset remove any pieces of malware that might have been installed on my phone?

These are my last questions, I promise.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 08:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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1) no,It will connect to your carrier.
2) not sure,I would still install a antivirus after you reset.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 01:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androidihaveaq View Post
Hi, if I perform a factory reset:

1) will that cause my phone to not be able to connect to the carrier? or will after the reset, it will just automatically reconnect to the carrier?
It will reconnect to your carrier no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androidihaveaq View Post
2) will a reset remove any pieces of malware that might have been installed on my phone?

These are my last questions, I promise.
Provided it wasn't rooted, it will be exactly the same as the day it left the factory, that's why it's called "factory reset".
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Provided it wasn't rooted, it will be exactly the same as the day it left the factory, that's why it's called "factory reset".
Apparently my answer to the same question in the original thread wasn't clear enough.

Nothing wrong with getting a second (or third) opinion though :-)
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Old August 15th, 2014, 05:26 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Since this is really just a duplicate thread I'm going to close it. No need to have two threads basically asking the same questions over and over.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to pm me about them.

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Old August 15th, 2014, 06:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I wend ahead and merged your 2 threads together, you can post all your questions here

Would be nice to know what device you have so we can actually move this to your device forum
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Old August 15th, 2014, 09:35 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Apparently my answer to the same question in the original thread wasn't clear enough.

Nothing wrong with getting a second (or third) opinion though :-)
Apparently none of the answers were enough to settle his mind.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 10:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Perhaps the op just doesn't understand the process and what it does. So, maybe a more detailed explanation is in order.

When you get an Android phone from a carrier store it is loaded with firmware (Android + their own stuff) provided by the carrier. The phone is set with administrative access locked so the user cannot change this. They will include a number of apps that are unique to the carrier and while many consider them unnecessary and intrusive, they are not "malware". You will hear them referred to as "bloatware" most of the time. These apps are in the protected system area and cannot be removed unless root (administrative access) is achieved.

When a phone is turned on for the first time, it will search for networks and connect to the appropriate one provided the device identified itself appropriately (SIM for GSM networks, ESN for CDMA ... ie. Verizon networks.) A Verizon phone must be activated on their network and the activation follows the device. With a GSM network (Like AT&T) the activation follows the sim card, so you can have 5 phones and all you need to do is put the sim in it. With Verizon, you have to deactivate the current phone to activate a different one. Essentially, either way, it's one phone at a time for that particular number.

Once it boots for the first time, it creates a user account. Some devices allow multiple users, but that a different kettle of sheep. Information for this account is stored as user data, like messages & email, logins, free apps, paid app keys etc. Then there is a user storage area where you keep your pictures, music, videos and any other files you might have. These are kept in a folder called /sdcard.

When you perform a factory reset, the phone erases the user data portion of the phone and flushes the system cache. This effectively erases any personal credentials, messages, apps and settings. It shouldn't touch the user storage folder, but sometimes it does making backups and cloud storage very important for files you don't want to lose.

What this means is that any app, setting or login installed since the phone was turned on the first time (ie. from the "factory") is wiped when you reset it. What stays behind are the carrier apps installed at the factory, any user files in /sdcard and, because some apps store data in the /sdcard folder, you may have remnants of them as well. To ensure a perfectly clean reset, you should also format the /sdcard to wipe that clean too.

From a security standpoint, an unrooted Android phone is very safe as long as you are careful about the apps you install and that you only get them from legitimate sources. Downloading apps from "alternate" app stores in an invitation for malware.

As for the phone call ... as everyone else has said, it was a test call. Resetting your phone will remove the number from your phone, but since the call was placed successfully, you can still see it in your Verizon account. Other than compromising the privacy of the person the rep called, there's no harm in it, although it's probably not a good practice to call private numbers to test. Maybe the store number was busy? Who knows.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 11:33 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Or as I had stated before, the rep that set up my older phone had called his own business cell for the test call. Not a huge issue, but definitely not the norm when it comes to cellphone activations.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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In the past, when I've purchased phones for my folks, they've done test calls to the store I purchased from (I've upgraded through Best Buy for the past few years).

That said, if I had purchased a phone for store pickup later down the line, I would probably ask them not to even open the box and just activate through the box.

At Best Buy, I've had perfect experiences asking them to activate through the box, without breaking the seal or opening anything. I would just take the box home, put the phone on the charger, turn it on real quickly, call it to make sure it was receiving calls (and also make a call to my land line, to make sure outgoing was working) and then quickly turn it off again to do a full charge before setting everything else up.

I personally don't like how sales associates handle opening everything up. I have a tendancy to keep everything, in the event I decide to sell later on (with all the original plastic and wrapping). Just makes for a more reasonable selling experience.
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