It's shiny, newer & does more than your own phone (if you have one) & is worth money, has some games you'd love to own on it too!
If you've ever been to camp & lost something there, you know the feeling of losing something important to you & hope that someone finds it AND is honest enough to hand it in or re-unite it with the proper owner, same go's for anyone losing a phone with all their contact details on, ..phones have personality now, they often are packed with music, entertainment, photo's ..& a vital way to stay in contact with friends & family, who may panic if they cannot get in touch with the phones proper owner.
So what can we do?
if the phone doesn’t use a locking code, just open up the contacts list and find a family member. However, a lock code or password complicates things, since you need to unlock the phone to access the contacts list. Even locked, you can still return the device without much hassle. Here’s how I found a phone and successfully returned it quickly.
When it comes down to it, there are two paths of returning the phone that are contingent upon whether or not you have access to the Internet Mobile Station Equipment Identity, or IMEI, number. The IMEI number can unique identify the owner of the phone.
Acquiring the IMEI (the serial number works too) of the phone depends on the phone’s by make. In the Samsung Galaxy S3 that I picked up, the IMEI number can be found underneath the battery. This isn’t the case on all phones, unfortunately.
After jotting down the IMEI, I called the phone service provider. Unfortunately they could not give me any personal info. I asked that the carrier forward along a message to the owner of the phone — the phone was left with my works main office. Within a few hours the owner picked the device up, without issue.
This method works because the phone’s owner must contact the phone provider to suspend service. However, if you manage to contact the phone company before the customer realizes his loss, they can then relay your contact information to them.
In my case, the Galaxy S3 didn’t receive cellular signal from my house. So waiting until the owner called wasn’t an option.
Here’s the basic process that you may need to go through to return a phone, if you have an IMEI:
- Write down the IMEI and/or the serial number. Manufacturers sometimes place this underneath the battery, on the side of the device or on the back.
- Call the service provider and supply them with the requisite information, normally the IMEI.
- Leave a contact number with the service provider.
- When the owner calls to suspend service, they will receive the contact number.
For a GSM (such as T-Mobile) phone, a phone thief would simply swap out the SIM card and either sell or use the device. The Galaxy S3 in my possession at the time sells for about £120. Beating the lockscreen would only require attaching the phone to a PC or using an exploit. If they didn’t want to access the personal data, they could perform a factory reset using ADB – Android Debug.
Conclusion If you find a lost phone, returning it is easy. If you have the IMEI number, simply contact the phone service provider and leave your contact info with them. If you don’t have the IMEI, either wait until they call their own phone or you can attempt to bypass the lock pattern.
For those of you looking to recover a stolen device, there’s a variety of methods. Some older strategies revolve around installing software. However, the newer Android Device Manager lets you locate a stolen device without actually installing anything.
Returning the phone clears your conscience and gives good karma. Anyone else love returning people’s lost property?
Let us know in the comments.