Not Another Activation Lock Thread

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Visionblue, May 15, 2014.

  1. Visionblue macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #1
    I work at a restaurant on a tiny island in the Caribbean. As one can imagine, I meet hundreds of vacationers on a weekly basis. And at least once a day, one of those blissful vacationers leaves their sunnies, their wallet, their credit card or their smart phone on my bar.

    Don't get me wrong; I get it. I'm as guilty as the next. I've left my wallet at the grocery store more times than I can count.

    Everyday, at the end of my shift, I sit in the office and complete a round of paperwork. And for a while now, I've been noticing a brand spankin' new iPhone 5S floating from one corner of the office to another. It eventually settles in the 'lost and found'. A few weeks in, I realize that no one at work has even attempted to find the thing's owner.

    Out of curiosity and maybe a bit of guilt, I volunteer to take the thing home and attempt to find its owner. You see, so many personal effects float in and out of here and very few people ever come to reclaim their property. Vacations are short lived, and most people seem too drunk on paradise to bother relocating their belongings. And we as a business cannot be held responsible, either. But as a tech enthusiast, I just cannot imagine losing my $600+ smart phone and not having a chip on my shoulder.

    So I bring it home and charge it up. Of course, it is password and fingerprint protected. The wallpaper is a black and white photo of a hunky vampire. The notifications left on the phone tell the story of a young teenage girl. God, that sucks. Probably her first iPhone and I bet she will never hear the end of it. I plug it into my computer. No information is displayed without the consent of a passcode. Last notifications in notification center....JANUARY?! Its May...this phone has been here for 4 months.

    Allright. Challenge accepted.

    I call AT&T. The representative could not have been more friendly. She offers to call the account holder associated to this phone. She leaves a voicemail, leaving the owner with an account of the situation, my phone number & name. Its only a matter of time.

    A week passes. NO call. Apple won't help.

    Time passes...and my sympathy wanes.

    Forget it. Nobody wants this phone. It's been replaced. I will happily put it to good use.

    I look up the phone's IMEI, and it hasn't been black listed. I put it in DFU mode and restore.

    I'm met by iCloud's activation lock. It was worth a try.

    Is it possible to 'hack' the phone, into giving me the e-mail address of the iCloud account that is associated with this phone?

    I want to talk directly to its owner.What started off as a good samaritan trying to find the phone's rightful owner has turned into convoluted frustration. Why do I have no means of contacting them directly? I realize some may have a moral bone to pick over my wiping of the phone, but its driving me crazy to think that this phone is now a useless brick and I have no way of contacting its rightful owner.
     
  2. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #2
    As far as I know there is no way for you to reach out to the owner, unless you happen to get lucky and locate them based on the Apple ID hint shown on the activation screen (and that is very unlikely, even if you have a visitor registry to compare the e-mail address to).

    And personally I think that's the way it should be, for the owner's sake. The owner has all the tools needed to get their phone back or into a state where loss of personal data is not an issue (Find My iPhone: messages, alerts, remote erase). The kind and right thing for you to do is to charge the phone up and keep it in a place where it has a chance of reaching a cell network or open WiFi. If after a while the phone remains silent it's time to take it to the local police and file it as lost and found.

    This is in the best interest of the owner, even if it might rub someone the wrong way.
     
  3. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #3
    That's what Activation Lock is supposed to do.

    You do and you took advantage of it (AT&T contacted the owner on your behalf).

    The owner didn't know or care to put the phone in Lost Mode so a finder could contact them. They didn't respond to AT&T. You are probably right that they replaced the phone and moved on leaving a very shiny paperweight.
     
  4. ionjohn macrumors 65816

    ionjohn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Truth be told, her daddy probably bought her a new one out of contrat right away and they don't give a jack what happens to this one. if she really cared, she would have used icloud features to locate it and all.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    BY now the owner has moved on. The phone left behind isd only good for parts. Even an Apple store can not unlock this phone. This is what the lock is surposed to do. What would it be worth if there was a secret back door posted here:rolleyes:
     
  6. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Yeah that's story I'm going with.
     
  7. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #7
    If you, a Good Samaritan, could hack iCloud, then the ne'er do wells could do the same thing, the system worked as it should.
     
  8. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #8
    First, you HAVE gone above and beyond to assist this person in retrieving their device. As stated, IF they wanted it they could have:
    1) sent a message through the iCloud lost mode
    2) responded to your Herculean efforts to contact them
    3) called the hotel/bars they were last at asking if someone had found their device.

    You are a hero and we need more people like you in this world.

    The proper thing to do now is recycle it.
    http://www.apple.com/recycling/

    Apple will take care of everything for you. You may even get a little gift card for your good efforts.

    PS. I do mobile device forensics and EVEN I cannot bypass activation lock. I can get all of the data off of the device, but NOT unlock it.
     
  9. ineedamac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    What data can you get from the locked iPhone? Just curious.
     
  10. localboy28 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #10
    Apple should have a SOS mode in iPhones
    If Somone finds a locked phone press SOS and there's a email or number to contact.

    Most people have irreplaceable pics that they'd want to get back.
     
  11. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #11
    Www.cellbrite.com...
     
  12. ineedamac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #12
    They have this from the owner's side now. I can send a message to the lost iPhone with a number/email to call if found. If owners cannot handle this then it is their loss.
     
  13. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    Hamburg, NY
    #13
    Why would you even think about restoring it if you knew it would happen?
     
  14. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #14
    I can get anything the warrant allows. I can pull pictures, email, text messages, contacts, documents, application data, voicemail, deleted content ( quality depends on time of deletion ), pretty much everything.
     
  15. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #15
    Pretty much off topic but if cellbrite doesn't support the 5s, especially with a complex Passcode, how do you do it? Never
    mind I'll just do a web search.
     
  16. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #16
    Try activating the phone every few months.

    There's a chance the previous owner may eventually remove it from "Find my iPhone" which will allow it to activate. It may happen in a month, in a year, or even never. But it's worth checking.

    It's likely the phone's owner has a rich family that just replaced it without a second thought. Once you get to a certain level of wealth, $500-$800 for a phone is like pocket change and it's not worth the effort to recover.

    Either way, the phone IS good for parts; everything in there but the motherboard can be used to repair a different phone and you'd be all set.
     
  17. HKPDW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
  18. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #18
    Bingo. It's too late now that the phone is restored, but before that (assuming Siri was enabled from the lock screen, and seems like there was a decent chance of that) Siri could have been used to do things of that nature, or even look up some contacts that are on the phone (even while it's locked).
     
  19. Visionblue thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    #19
    Unfortunately the phone's SIM is disabled and doesn't get cell signal. Also there was no way to use wifi as the auto-connect was turned off.

    --
    I'm going to allow more time to pass and maybe the owner will contact me. If not it will sit in a drawer until I figure out a way to contact them. Eventually, I may donate the phone to someone who needs parts to repair their own 5S. It may seem morally questionable to some, but I just don't see the point of island-hopping to drop the phone at an AT&T store so they can replace the mother board and re-sell the phone. And the closest Apple Store is in the continental U.S. which I don't plan on going back to in the near future. And the local police? Forget it, it would be on eBay in less time than it would take me to drive home from the police station.

    I'm just totally convinced now that who ever owned this phone has replaced it and moved on. If not, they would have called me back. I know that if the the rolls were switched, I probably wouldn't have left the island without my phone in the first place. There aren't that many restaurants on this tiny island, and simply walking in and asking if someone had found an iPhone would have reunited the owner with their phone.
     
  20. hungx macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #20
    You could have used another SIM card. It's too late for that now, though.
     
  21. RiddlaBronc macrumors 6502a

    RiddlaBronc

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    Mcallen Tx
    #21
    As someone else mentioned, they keep getting more elaborate....
     
  22. wxman2003 Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    #22
    Here is a condensed version of this story:

    Hi, I found and iPhone 5s and it is locked. Help me unlock it so I can use it.

    Thank you
     
  23. iKaushal macrumors 6502

    iKaushal

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Mumbai, India
  24. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #24
    Too funny. OPs story, while I'm sure it's 100% on the level, still boils down to this.
     

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