How to get a found iphone back in touch with its rightful owner.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by vmlinux, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. vmlinux macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    #1
    I'm an IT technician, and have my own small business doing technical consulting. One of my customers called me tonight saying she found an iphone in her front yard next to the sidewalk yesterday. She and her husband have iphones, and they have had the thing plugged in for a day on their charge cables, and haven't gotten any calls on it, and want to know if I can find out who it belongs to. The phone is locked, and I've talked to AT&T and they won't help me at all, and they won't take the phone and try and get it in touch with its owner from the card or anything.

    Any help here? I know how to jailbreak etc, but I don't want to do a restore because I'm afraid it will lose the owners name for good then. I have a couple of iphones, and the darn things are anything but cheap, and I'm sure someone somewhere will want it back.

    Can I take the sim card out of it and get any owner information on it by plugging it into my jailbroken iphone or anything?
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #2
    You might try bringing it to a local AT&T place. While they may not help you from corporate over the phone, if you get the right person in person they could probably figure it out for you.
     
  3. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #3
    See if they have an easy passcode. Plug it into your computer an just keep guessing the code once it gets to the point of making you wait just press sync, then cancel sync and it will be reset, you could try the simcard thing but im not sure if it would work. If they dont care to call it, forget it, they obviously dont care. Keep in mind your taking a chance with this as they could have it set to delete data after 10 tries. My immediate guess is thats a buisness phone and the owner doesnt care because the company will buy him a new one.
     
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #4
    Also (and this probably won't work at all) try double tapping the home key. I seem to recall with an older software version that if this was set to your favorites, you could bring up peoples contact list. Highly doubtful it will work but who knows. If it's set to their iPod, you could at least listen to their music! Maybe it's set to a local church podcast or something and you can bring it there. A stretch I know I know... :p
     
  5. MacRumors123456 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #5
    SIM card

    Go to a local AT&T store. Look for a helpful person (No offense to AT&T employees) and ask them to help. Maybe sugest using the SIM card number and looking up the person. If not restore it and sell it on eBay. Just kidding.
     
  6. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #6
    You can take the sim card out and put it in another phone to see the phone number. Call up and leave a message on the Voice mail of that number.

    Two possibilities are:

    The owner is still checking their voicemail without a cell or has already went to AT&T and had a new sim card activated(with the same number of course). If the owner already has the new sim in a backup phone(which is most likely the case), then they will answer.
     
  7. Jon-Luke macrumors 6502

    Jon-Luke

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #7
    There's a chance that the iPhone has been registered with Apple... What you need to do is access the Serial Number and then contact Apple to let them know you have found the phone.

    So how do you get the serial number...? Well you could put in one of your own sim cards into the phone and start it up - you should still be able to get into system settings this way and find the serial number, or get someone at AT&T to help you do this.
     
  8. vmlinux thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    #8
    I have the phone in my hand now. It's the same as my iphone it's a 3gs 16gb just like the ones my wife and I have. I tried using the voice dial functionality so I could get a phone number dialing myself, but the owner has disabled the account now so it won't dial out at all now.
     
  9. MacRumors123456 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 12, 2009
    #9
    Yeah, he probably canceled it after he found out it was lost.
     
  10. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

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    Oct 30, 2009
    #10
    Good thinking, it floors me that someone lost an $1100 phone and didnt even bother to call it.
     
  11. vmlinux thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2010
    #11
    Ok my customer called an they found signs of forced entry. What we are thinking is someone lost it while trying to break in. That explains why they weren't real eager to be found. I got the number by switching sims to my phone and it's all going to the police tomorrow.

    Protip: sometimes karma doesn't wait to get you back.
     
  12. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #12
    Even if the sim is disabled, you'll still be able to see the number if you put it on another phone. The sim is disable cause most likely the owner got a new sim activated, but that doesn't erase the number from the original sim. If you call that number the owner will most likely answer.
     
  13. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #13
    Then the people who tried to break into their house probably stole that phone, the original owners probably gave up. So really the person it was originally stolen from will probably get it back now. I dont think someone who could afford an iphone would go door to door robbing people.
     
  14. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #14
    lol. force entry...and person brings an iphone...LAWL. their stupidity cease to amaze me. LAWL.
     
  15. vmlinux thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2010
    #15
    I tried the number is disconnected. In the account settings it showed that they had 220 owed. Like I said it's going to the police so someone can claim it from them. I washed my hands of it.
     
  16. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #16
    It's some police officers luckiy day.

    I personally would have sold it rather then giving some stranger a gift.
     
  17. applefool macrumors member

    applefool

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #17
    for future reference, the serial number to the phone is also located on the the sim card; you must eject to read it though. this information could be used by atnt to track the owner and the mobile number.
     
  18. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    Oct 27, 2009
    #18
    QFT!!! A police officer will definitely keep it, especially if no one claims it.
     
  19. ARF900 macrumors 65816

    ARF900

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #19
    Well like I said I think whoever forced entry stole the phone from someone else first.
     

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