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Stolen iPhone

My iPhone was stolen. What can I do?
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  • The real problem (which isn't being understood), is that there is no worldwide infrastructure in place to track and report stolen goods in a secure way.

    In fact, to do so is expensive, because you need servers, you need a way to securely pass information onto police (which likely wont be automated), etc. You must also verify that the information entered is true before acting (otherwise, you'll be sending thousands of false reports to police).

    The reality is, there is no easy-to-check list of stolen phones except for specific vendors, and even then, they aren't public databases, so many carriers likely don't have access to them.

    So, my question is, are one of you guys willing to setup, and maintain such a database (remember, doing so is actually MORE difficult than maintaining an spam-block list)? Because unless someone is specifically willing to stand-up and create it, it's unlikely to happen. Keep in mind if you are though, it's easy to create the database, but actually verifying that the reports are correct is the other problem.. Another problem is exposing enough information to carriers, in a way which isn't a privacy issue (you'd have to proxy it).

    And yes, it needs to be a worldwide system, otherwise thieves can simply sell them overseas.
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  • I’m so tired
    Andrew, apparently you and I are two of the more intelligent and realistic people on this board.
    You lost your phone, or had it stolen, I understand you are angry.
    But we must face the reality that the thieves are at fault, and to blame the cell service providers or phone manufacturers is just plain idiotic. They didn't grow the thieves in their garden.
    And to request Apple, At&T, the police to come up with a system, a database that tracks all stolen property and to be shared nationally or even internationally among other service providers and police agencies is not just expensive, but unrealistic.
    We are talking about a $500 product. Not a mass murderer, or some drug warlord.
    Like I've said above a few different times, you just have to be more responsible with your belongings and more careful where you leave them. Once stolen, report to the police with description of questionable suspects. Let them do their job. Meanwhile, buy a phone that the thieves have no interest in stealing so you can stop whining.
    Based on your arguments, TV manufactures need to stop the TV from working once reported stolen. Cars need to stop running once reported stolen. Laptops will self-destruct once reported stolen. Digital cameras will turn into a black hole and suck the thieve in once reported stolen.

    I hope you get my point. Guys, follow the below rules:
    1. Take it everywhere you go
    2. Don't leave it unattended
    3. Don't flaunt your newly purchased $700 iPhone 4 to everyone
    4. Attach a chain to the phone and your pants.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Are you willing to develop and maintain a worldwide stolen goods database? If it's easy, do it... Otherwise, I think you totally underestimate the amount of effort, money, skill and coordination to successfully stop thieves. But start petitions and letter writing if you want, but it won't help get an infrastructure in place to make it possible
    • Haha you two are so very wrong. First of all over 30% of americans now own iphones, and at $500 a piece for individuals who are likely pay taxes (too our police, i.e. hiring them), no it is not all too much to ask. These individuals also pay Apple and ATT lots of hard earned dollars, and the companies unappreciatively still directly support the stealing of peoples iphones, because the truth is my delusional world wide data base friend.. The only thing they would have to do to stop this stealing in its tracks, is to allow the paying owner to download an application for (these super savey thief treats we call) iphones, that lets the owner choose to "fry" it. Should be their complete choice as it is them who bought it the legal way. And theifs would catch on that this is a no deal steal in a blink of an eye. Were talking a major justice application that is optional for free. This is a uncomplicated solution and thats everyones point. People should be loud about their un satisfaction of provided levels of protection, and it might change. Send ATT Cingular or Verizion complaints and post them on the web. It will change if we do.
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  • I’m surprised
    Please enlighten us, Steve. I'm sure you have a perfectly good explanation to why we are rubes.
    And remind us what you are again?
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    • I don't think you did.. For starters, in the process of telling us "we are wrong", you started with some amazingly unbelievable BS statistic. 31% of American's are believed to have a smartphone according to Neilson in December, which means that can't possibly be true. 30% of smartphone owners, yes, but blackberry and android have an equal share.

      Secondly, have you reported your stolen phone to police?

      Finally, you don't understand the big picture.
      1) When you say fry it, you mean the hardware? How? There have been Apple notebooks for sale with no serial number embedded on the hardware, do you really think it's that difficult for them to undo it?
      2) Thieves also can block any disabling factor from happening. The iPhone OS is totally hacked, which means they could install some kind of firewall against the servers which issue the command to disable it.
      3) And if hardware, what happens when someone screws up their hardware accidentally? Do they pay? I think it's fair that Apple doesn't want to pay to unf*** a bunch of people's phones.
      4) Thieves don't sit around for after sales service. They just need to ship anything..
      5) Finally, if you remember how skitzo the media went when Apple added blacklisting for Dashboard extensions (as a security precaution). Imagine how they will brand a kill switch?

      You claimed a thief stole it directly from your pocket, did he know it was there? If he didn't know what was there, then he'd still have your phone. In your case, disabling your phone wont help you recover it, just potentially make it less profitable for him.

      If you want your phone back
      1) Report it to police
      2) Utilise mechanisms which aid recovery. Disable the phone, it will never connect to the network again, however, allow it to stay live, and monitor it, and suddenly, police have a better means to find it.
    • I don't think you did.. For starters, in the process of telling us "we are wrong", you started with some amazingly unbelievable BS statistic. 31% of American's are believed to have a smartphone according to Neilson in December, which means that can't possibly be true. 30% of smartphone owners, yes, but blackberry and android have an equal share.

      Secondly, have you reported your stolen phone to police?

      Finally, you don't understand the big picture.
      1) When you say fry it, you mean the hardware? How? There have been Apple notebooks for sale with no serial number embedded on the hardware, do you really think it's that difficult for them to undo it?
      2) Thieves also can block any disabling factor from happening. The iPhone OS is totally hacked, which means they could install some kind of firewall against the servers which issue the command to disable it.
      3) And if hardware, what happens when someone screws up their hardware accidentally? Do they pay? I think it's fair that Apple doesn't want to pay to unf*** a bunch of people's phones.
      4) Thieves don't sit around for after sales service. They just need to ship anything..
      5) Finally, if you remember how skitzo the media went when Apple added blacklisting for Dashboard extensions (as a security precaution). Imagine how they will brand a kill switch?

      You claimed a thief stole it directly from your pocket, did he know it was there? If he didn't know what was there, then he'd still have your phone. In your case, disabling your phone wont help you recover it, just potentially make it less profitable for him.

      If you want your phone back
      1) Report it to police
      2) Utilise mechanisms which aid recovery. Disable the phone, it will never connect to the network again, however, allow it to stay live, and monitor it, and suddenly, police have a better means to find it.
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  • I’m undecided
    Andrew,
    Thank you for contributing to the conversation. I am beginning to understand the complexity of the issue. I was thinking only iPhones, only the USA, and only AT&T.
    I believe there is an Apple serial registry for stolen laptops that I have used in the past. Apple wouldn't work on (repair) a laptop with a stolen serial number. True, this did not stop my thief, but Apple's pro-consumer posture was comforting.

    What's so complicated about a database of iPhone serial numbers that don't get activated? Are there that many more iPhones than Apple Laptops? I see the data-flow going from police and consumer to AT&T. Why would AT&T need to push data to the police?

    We can put a man on the moon...

    Bruce,
    Your communication is condescending, misplaced, or otherwise not helpful. Your point may be valid, but is not "got" because of your lacking communication skills.

    You blame the victim, give anachronistic commands, and repeat a bad analogy. Your effort to ally yourself to Andrew is ill-fated. You are the small dweeb standing behind a big guy jumping up and down saying "yeah, what he said. and up yours." When your daughter gets raped, will you say that she shouldn't where attractive clothing?
    • Kurt, of course you wouldn't understand a "common sense" argument. By contradicting your argument, you've shown how educated you are. You call me condescending and say that I use bad analogy, while yourself wish my daughter to get raped? Note you used the word "when" as a matter of fact and time, and not "if" as some hypothetical.
      If you even tried reading... I mean reading all of my posts above, you would see that I agree with Andrew's argument that AT&T and Apple are not to be held responsible, while having very different points to prove that fact. There is no bandwagon jumping; just simply two people having common sense.
      Getting back to your personal insult wishing my daughter gets raped; yes, I would tell her to not walk around like a hooker unless she wants to be treated like one. This idea may be new to you, it's called consistent argument. Now we all know why no one wants to rape your wife. So you have nothing to worry about there.
      My point is simple: Take personal responsibility. Stop blaming the world for personal misfortunes. Protect and guard personal property. Lock your car. Lock your home. We all shouldn't have to pay so that AT&T can subsidize your stolen iPhones and build a international network so your $500 phone can be tracked down.
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  • I’m missing my phone.
    Yesterday I called Apple Care. The first question they had for me was "What is the phone's serial number?" I told them and they then knew my name and the number that the phone the registered with. Then I reported it stolen and had a few questions about why MobileMe can't locate the phone.

    Once my questions were answered, I asked if someone called next week looking for support on this phone, would they get it. The guy said YES THEY WOULD!!! This to me is a break down in company policy. The database on the phone is already in place.

    I'm not asking for new international database across different carriers but it would be VERY EASY for the carrier I was with (Rogers) AND Apple to deny the guy who has my phone (thief or idiot who bought it from him) service. If they can't do that much why the hell have serial numbers and registrations to begin with?

    I know this was my mistake but we all make them.
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  • I’m unsure
    from http://www.pharosint.com/cell_phone-t...

    Check your owner’s manual to see how your phone is locked on a provider. The best way to prevent someone from switching carriers and making calls is by setting your sim lock feature, which is coded. That makes it less profitable for a thief to use the phone once you’ve notified your own carrier of the theft.

    Is this relevant to iPhone?
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  • I’m sad
    @ kurt gerwitz
    hi one of my friend bought iphone4 from usa and i payed him all the money,but he is demanding me more money after 3 months & blackmailing me that he can block my device on using with carriers because iphone is registered on his name but the invoice is with me.........can he really block my device from using it????

    pls do reply asap...........
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  • choose your friends wiser, best lesson in the world. I seriously doubt he can do anything but either way i would rather have my phone die than be extorted.
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  • First, stop using the word friend so loosely. Then call your service provider. Tell them it's your phone, you have the receipt and you want the account put in your name. They may want you to go to one of their sales/service locations with your phone and receipt to prove it. That should get it done. When the change is made you then let the air out all the tires on your "friend's" car.
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  • @ steve
    thankq soo much for the warm response,i called apple customer care & changed the registration name into my name,is that enough or do i need to do sumthng else like visiting apple store...............
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  • My friend stole an iphone just the other day, he turned it off right when he found it, took out the SIM card, went home, restored it to factory settings and put his SIM in, he turned off the internet and everything though, so its basically only useful for texting and calling, if you do all that you wont get caught. its sad that apple made it that easy to steal an iphone, haha.
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  • The guy who stole mine, and my wife's iPhones is now serving 5 years in a Florida prison. You might want to remember that stealing is illegal, and you're an accomplice.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I was in New Orleans this Weekend on Bourbon Street and some guy ran up to me and snatched my phone out of my hand and ran off into a croud of people. ONE: i was out of town, and TWO: that phone was like my LIFELINE!!! i called AT&T and got it turned off. I cant track it down... but what do i do now?do i have to pay a deactivation fee bc my 2 year contract wasnt up?....AND then go thru the whole process of getting a new phone?
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  • you can now file insurance with apple its 11.25$ a month and if your iphone 4 is stolen u can get it replaced. thing is u have to sign up for it within the 30 days from the time you bought it. the moblie me app is pretty cool and if the sim card is removed you can still track your phone and set a remote lock without the sim. as for calling or filling out with the police its alot of hasle but do it anyways because if it eventually ends up in a place that checks seriel #'s you'll get it back. not as soon as you'd like but you sometimes will evenually.
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  • hi, my phone was stolen and i reported it to the police and a text was sent out to the phone saying that the police were getting involved but they have now removed the sim card! what now happens?
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