Tips on how to get lost iPhone back to owner

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Rugburn, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Rugburn macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2014
    I work in the cash office of a large "big box" retailer. My office is also where lost and found valuables are held. We hold items for 30 days and then they are destroyed.

    Employees at the front of the store are awful lazy about lost and found. They just drop it off with out any effort to locate the owner. Over the years some very nice items have been destroyed after waiting for an owner that never shows.

    From my experience, I have done a few things to make my own phone easy to return if its ever lost. Especially since it is locked. You might consider the same. It won't guard against theft, but it can help in case of lost & found.

    *My lock screen has my name and home phone number on it.
    *I enabled siri, and told her my contact info. Even when phone is locked, If you press siri and ask "who am I" my contact info comes up.
    *Now with the Health App, I put Medical ID (spouse, home phone) so it can be looked up in the emergency call page.

    When a phone is turned in to lost and found, I do my best to locate the owner. My only form of communication in my office is by phone. (not mail, etc...)

    This weekend, an iPhone 5s was turned in. I was gone for 3 days. Battery long dead before I found it today.
    I charged it with my own charger. No "Find My Phone" lost notification on it.
    Phone is locked by passcode.
    No luck asking siri "who am I?"
    I was able to access the camera from the lock screen. I took a photo of a piece of paper stating "your phone is in Lost & Found at XYZ store" Thinking perhaps their photos are on a cloud?

    Anything else I can do? I am surprised the owner was safety conscious enough to put a passcode on the phone, but not activate the Find my Phone app in the last 3 days.

    Only other thing I can think of, is by charging the phone, maybe it will get a signal? Signal is weak at my store (center of a big metal building, no windows)
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Activate Siri and say "redial" -- maybe it'll call someone who knows the owner via CallerID...

    If that doesn't work, activate Siri and say "call home" or mom, or dad, or sister, son, daughter, or even various common names.

    Last resort activate Siri to call your phone so you can get the phone # via caller ID, then call it yourself and/or google the number to see if it gets any hits on someone's name.
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I returned a bunch of cellphones before when people forget them at work.
    I either try to answer it when it rings or just go in and call recent callers to notify them about.
    Or look for Mom/Dad entries on the phonebook and call them.
  4. frenzytom macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2014
    Do you know the carrier? Maybe the carrier will be able to help if you knew the IMEI and provide it to them (they can place on as lost/stolen so crazy charges are not added to phone). They can hopefully return it to proper owner if returned to the store as they have the contact info and address of owner. Not sure what else but you are doing a thankless job but great for your karma. Plus thanks for the helpful tips for current owners!
  5. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    Just send it to me and I will locate the buyer, I mean owner hehe
  6. Rugburn thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2014
    Thanks, It was TMobile. I will try tomorrow to call T-Mobile and tell then the IMEI (see, didn't think of that!)

    I may see if siri will let me call "home" even though it was locked. This particular phone is in spanish. Do I have to speak spanish to siri? :( Maybe thats why I had no luck today.

    When I tried "who am i" today, I got what I believe is the spanish translation of "I'm really sorry about this but I can't do anything. Please try back in a little while" I assumed it was because there was no signal. Maybe it was because I no habla espanol?
  7. PixelpusherBV macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Harwich, UK
    I can't offer anything beyond your exhaustive efforts, apart from calling the provider.

    Bless you for trying so hard☺️
  8. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Yes, depending on settings it should let you make calls while locked. Mine does.

    Google Translate.

    call home would be something like Llamar a casa (yammAr a kAhsa)

Share This Page

7 October 22, 2014