I was shocked to discover that this past month Google Maps shows that I was home one day, drove from a neighboring location over 650 miles to Chicago the next day, and was home the following day.

Could this indicate that someone cloned my phone?

I know that inaccuracies can occur locally, but 650 miles? And Google Maps even shows the route that I allegedly took.

I searched for similar questions. Either they did not address this particular question or they were tagged as having already having been answered. If someone thinks that this question has already been answered, then please have the courtesy of providing a link in the comments.

Google Map Snafu

  • You don't really need someone to clone the whole phone to make this, only your Google account is needed. So, the question is, was someone logged in with/using your Google account on that day and driving through that route? Is your car (Android Auto) logged with your account and someone drove it? – Andrew T. Jun 3 '19 at 19:20
  • The only connection between my phone and car is via bluetooth. I have concluded that my Android tablet, which only connects via AT&T fixed wireless internet caused the event. Google Maps currently thinks that my desktop computer is 400 miles away in Summit, MS. Tomorrow, it may think that it is in Colorado. So I suspect that Google Maps picked up a location of Chicago and constructed a hypothetical route that I would have taken to get there. So now, I am less freaked out. – John Wayland Bales Jun 3 '19 at 20:55
  • Recently, I read of an incident in which someone's phone had been temporarily transferred to different SIM card by a scammer. The person contacted his carrier, thinking it was a technical problem. But when he got his phone working again, he discovered that his investment account had been emptied by a six-figure amount. So when I saw that Google Map route from near where I live to Chicago, I kinda freaked. – John Wayland Bales Jun 3 '19 at 20:59

In my case, the solution was to turn off location services on my Android tablet. Google Maps was using my ISP to guess my location.

Although I was in Alabama, my ISP was reporting my location as Chicago, so Google Maps assumed that since I was in Alabama one day (according to my cell) and in Chicago the next (according to my Android tablet), then I must have driven to Chicago (even though my cell was still in Alabama). Then it produced a likely route that I would have taken. Note that I seldom use my Android tablet and that the Chicago thing occurred when I first turned it on after changing ISPs.

This is the best explanation I can come up with.

So if your location service comes from your ISP rather than your cell provider, make sure that your ISP gives an accurate location for you.

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