Resolved Returning a lost iPhone to its owner (w/passcode)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bobbricks, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. bobbricks, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    bobbricks macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    How would I go about doing this?

    I think it's an iPhone 4 and it has a passcode set so I can't access any of the contacts. I found the iPhone on the airplane but I didn't want to give it to the airport because of a documentary I watched a while ago about how many of them just take the item rather than returning it. The iPhone is also not connected to any network (the Sim Card's AT&T but it isn't connecting to any network here in the UK so I can't make any calls- it doesn't seem to accept my Sim card either). What should I do with the iPhone?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    See if you can drop it off at your local apple store?
  3. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    You should have turned it into the airport--the person probably realized pretty quickly that they forgot it and may have gone back. You taking it means they'll probably never get it now.

    Whether or not the airport staff would have stolen the phone is not your concern. An iPad was returned to me by airport personnel once so most are probably honest.
  4. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    Shame its not getting any signal or get on wifi.

    You could have taken a picture of yourself with a sign, with your number on, and it would have ended up in his photostream to view on his PC
  5. bobbricks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    What would the Apple store do with it- would they try and find the person or would they give it to the police? :)

    I'm worried that the police will think I will have stolen it :S
  6. Harrycooke macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2012
    London/New York
    You can just go in and say you found it. I would say Apple is your best bet.
  7. ugcop macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2012
    Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
    That is why I have a sticky note pic on my lock screen with emergency contact information. It presents a way for someone to return if found or in the event of an accident a way to contact my wife.
  8. ZombiePete macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Who's the carrier? If it's AT&T the carrier can find out whose phone it is from the SIM. I would probably take it to the carrier regardless of who it is; they'll likely be the ones the owner contacted when he lost his phone, not Apple.
  9. bobbricks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    Yes, the carrier's AT&T. However, I can't give the phone to the carrier since I'm in the UK (where AT&T doesn't operate)...
  10. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
  11. hamiltonDSi macrumors 68000


    Jul 29, 2012
    He said that the phone has no signal because it has an ATT sim and he is in the UK.
  12. stormchaser macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2010
    They wouldn't be able to as the OP is in the UK and the phone is US.
  13. Grmnracing macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2011
    That's an excellent idea! That way your data is safe with a passcode but the finder can still contact someone for you.
  14. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2011
    Do iOS 6 devices still auto-connect to WiFi networks called "attwifi"? If so, perhaps the OP can try renaming their existing WiFi network and see if the device will jump online. Once online, at least the owner can see it, send a message, wipe it etc.

    Maybe it won't work but I thought I'd throw it out there, since it was mentioned that it might be an AT&T device...
  15. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    The police would do just like the airport employee and put it in his/her pocket.:p
  16. bobbricks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    That sounds like a good idea...
    However, I'm going on holiday tomorrow and won't have access to internet so do you think I should try out that idea once I come back? Because if I connect, then I'm worried that the owner will report my location to the police who will question me on why I waited this long (2 weeks) etc.

    Also, is the owner able to send a message even though the phone is offline (but receive it once it becomes connected to wifi) or does the phone have to be connected to wifi when the message is sent?
  17. dotme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2011
    I would try it today. If the owner is also on holiday, they will be home in 2 weeks and probably will have shelled out for a replacement phone. Why wait? Hook it up, see if it connects, hope for a message (Probably queued if they sent one) and go from there. Takes all of 5 minutes to rename SSID on a WiFi router (remove password requirements too of course) and if the phone shows it's connected to WiFi, you can wait half an hour to see if anything happens.

    If nothing happens, you now have an expensive paperweight. But you could also call the AIRLINE lost and found at the airport and report you found a phone too. If the device was left on the plane, the owner would have called the airline, not the airport. The airline may well have taken a report and have it on file. Armed with the flight number and date, they may quickly be able to reunite phone with owner.
  18. xproc macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2012
    why dont you consider publish the s/n online... if the owner see it, he/she might contact you...
  19. KeanosMagicHat macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2012
    Email AT&T with the SIM card number and they should hopefully be able to trace the owner for you if it's a contract phone.
  20. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Airline still ought to be your best bet. If you found it in a seatback there's a very limited number of probable owners, which the airline would be able to contact. Even if you just found it in the lavatory or under the seats, there's still a limited number of people who might have lost it.

    In the future, turn it in to the airline folks as you exit the plane. That's the most probable way for the phone to get back to the owner since the airline is the first place the owner's going to contact when he/she realizes they left their phone on the plane.
  21. bobbricks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    Woah- that trick on renaming your WiFi network to 'attwifi' and making it an open/public network actually worked (thanks dotme)! :eek:

    I managed to find her twitter name (one of the tweets was about her losing the phone) which popped up on the home screen! The phone will now be going back to its rightful owner :cool:
  22. JavierDiaz4 macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2007
    Hey this has happened to me more than once and what I have done successfully is this. I called Apple. They will ask you for the serial and they will get a hold of the customer for you. You'll be able to handle it from there. They will work with you in making the rest of the arrangements to return the phone.
  23. RoofMonkey911 macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Was going to ask how you get the serial # if the device is locked, but just remembered the serial # is on the sim tray.
  24. oliviarox9 macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2013
    i phone

    today in meadowHELL i was in primark and i was trying these shoes on i put my i phone :apple: down just behind me and i went to grab it and it was gone and im only 10!!!! :confused: who would do that to a ten year old :confused: so i started panicking and my mum was like what wrong whats wrong and i was like my i phone 4 has been stolen so my mum got everyone to check the security cameras and everything, but they couldn't see anything :mad: but how can i get it back how can i track it down :confused::confused::confused: HHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPP

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