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Author Topic: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable  (Read 2655 times)

Arizona Hot

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How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« on: August 14, 2012, 01:02:14 AM »
This is an article about phone apps you can install to find your phone when you lose it: Find My iPhone,(and for Android phones) Where’s My Droid and Plan B. The author isn't theoretical, he had his phone stolen and recovered with one of these programs. You can't use them if your phone is part of the Robot Rebellion.

How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable.jpg

Edvard

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Re: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 01:43:42 AM »
Nice article, but this paragraph gave me pause:
Quote
And the cellphone carriers know where our phones are at all times, even when the phone has been erased; they can track the phone’s serial number. At the moment, however, the Verizons and AT&T’s of the world have no interest in using that information to help you recover your lost phone. Why should they? If it’s lost, you’ll buy another one.

I work at a Sprint call center, and if I get one person calling and accusing me of keeping the location of their phone away from them, I'm going to write a very angry email to Mr. Pogue.
No, we do NOT know where your phone is based on the serial number alone, but if you were smart and called us after it was lost/stolen, we can put a restriction on it so that it cannot be activated on another account.  Then, if it is found or sold and the finder/buyer calls us, we recommend they turn it in at a local Sprint store where the owner can re-claim it.  Why not call the owner to let them know someone found it, you ask?  And walk them straight into a "Gimme my phone" confrontation? 
No thanks.

nosh

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Re: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 03:54:45 AM »
Quote
if it is found or sold and the finder/buyer calls us, we recommend they turn it in at a local Sprint store where the owner can re-claim it.

That's too bad for the buyer if he bought it without knowledge of it being stolen (say online). IIRC, from my days of studying elementary law, the buyer would retain the title if he didn't know the property was stolen. A little Googling tells me otherwise... US laws seem to lean in favor of the original owner, and when they don't, things get really complicated and both parties would have to put in a lot of time and effort ... I don't expect things to go that far for a cell phone. :) Sorry about the slight OT.

(Oops... looks like I misread Edvard's quote :-[ ... still, it's interesting to know how things would play out if the phone was sold off. )

Edvard

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Re: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 09:53:43 AM »
In the instances where somebody bought a phone off ebay and it was either still active on another account or flagged as stolen, we recommend getting a refund (I think ebay has some protections for just these sorts of events) and when customers ask about getting used phones we ALWAYS recommend getting the serial number first so we can check it for them before purchasing.
As far as US law is concerned, the person who knowingly sold a phone flagged as lost or stolen could be found guilty of Possession of Stolen Property.  It really is very easy to check the status, so ignorance is a pretty weak excuse.

Arizona Hot

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Re: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 11:14:42 AM »
knowingly sold a phone flagged as lost or stolen could be found guilty of Possession of Stolen Property.  It really is very easy to check the status, so ignorance is a pretty weak excuse.

Let us know how to check this out. I'm sure someone out there is in this situation.

Edvard

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Re: How to Make Your Lost Phone Findable
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 11:54:31 AM »
Just call the carrier the phone is tied to, they will be able to check.  If they can't, avoid that carrier in the future, they cannot (or will not) protect you if you lose one of their phones.
If you find a phone, call the carrier's customer care line and tell the agent you found this phone, and ask them to check if it is active on an account or flagged as lost/stolen.  For Sprint agents, it literally takes two mouse clicks and a bit of typing to check the serial number.  
If it is flagged or still active on an account, it can be turned in at a local Sprint store and they can notify the owner.  If it is not active or flagged, it's free and clear.