updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu December 22, 2011
Deactivating old SIMs, Apple IDs only solutions
A flaw in iMessage has been allowing stolen iPhones to continue receiving and sending messages for their original owners, even after a remote wipe, reports note. Although iMessage is also nominally associated with a person's Apple ID, changing a linked password and/or email address may have no effect. It's believed that iMessage may be pulling old phone numbers from a cache, and using that data to manage messages. Switching a SIM card to a new iPhone may in fact take iMessage traffic with it.
Only two methods appear to halt misdirected messages. The first is to wipe a phone, call a carrier and have its SIM deactivated, and then activate a new SIM in a new phone. Alternately a person can completely cancel an existing Apple ID and start a new one, but this may have serious drawbacks, as it can cut off access to media and data a person has linked with iTunes or iCloud.