General Question

robmandu's avatar

How does your phone identify you as the owner?

Asked by robmandu (21203 points ) April 4th, 2012

Consider you’ve left your (smart)phone behind somewhere. A random good Samaritan picks it up and wants to return it to its rightful owner (you). How does he discover the means to contact you?

What if the phone is locked? What if the battery is dead?

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17 Answers

janbb's avatar

My son left his phone in a cab in Philadelphia. The person who found it used his contacts to call “Mom” and we arranged the return to him. Sometimes people will call their own phone number and see if anyone picks up.

rebbel's avatar

Good question (since I have the idea that some phone owners have not thought about that scenario).
I use to have an app for that.
In case of theft or losing it I could switch it off from a distance (or so I think it was how it worked) and a message would appear in the screen which stated a reward and contact info.
The name of the app I cannot remember.
Thanks for the question; I hard reset my phone yesterday so now I can think of a way to tackle this potential problem.

CWOTUS's avatar

Excellent question; very helpful.

One of my contacts is “Me”, with my landline home phone and office numbers. The phone locking is unsecured (this is not a smart phone at all), so it would be no trouble to browse the contacts. (Maybe I should make “_Me” instead of “Me” so that I’ll be the first one on the list.)

JLeslie's avatar

On my home screen I have icons to call my husband and my sister.

In contacts I have mommy and daddy.

I am going to add “me” right now, I think that is a great idea.

Also, if they turn my phone into Sprint, they should be able to contact me. I did that when I found someone’s phone.

rebbel's avatar

I do by the way have an ICE In Case of Emergency app, in which, besides medical info, three contacts are listed, namely my girlfriend, my mom, and my brother, so the finder could easily because ICE is on the home screen call one of my relatives.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I also have ICE ^

downtide's avatar

I have an ICE (my partner) too. My phone isn’t locked. One time I lost it in the park when I was walking my dog. I went back to look for it but couldn’t find it. A couple of hours later, someone phoned my home landline number to tell me that they’d found it, and gave me their address so I could go and pick it up. That probably wouldn’t have happened if it had been locked.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
john65pennington's avatar

Look on the phone and find its maker or the phone carrier. Take it to their business and they will do the rest.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

Jeruba's avatar

I found someone’s phone in a restroom and used it to find her. Then I stopped locking my own phone.

My phone’s menu has a “My Name Card” item on it, and I have our land line number entered there. I also have it on speed dial, along with my husband’s and sons’ cellphones. It would not take much of a detective to find the owner of my phone.

jaytkay's avatar

Twice I have found a phone, looked for a contact called “home” and called it to say, “I found your phone”. Both times the very grateful owner picked up the phone from me the same day.

At least I think they were the owners

AshLeigh's avatar

If I found someones phone, and it was not dead, or locked, I would look in the contacts, and see if there was a “mom” or “dad” in the list.
If it was dead, or locked, I would just give it to the customer service desk, if there was one in the place that I found it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I recently lost my POS phone in Belize on a crowded bus. The person who found it ended upcalling my friend down here since that was the most dialed/texted number.

Buttonstc's avatar

I done lock my phone since, if I ever lost it, I would know pretty quickly. And I could just call my carrier and have them prevent any unauthorized use.

But, now that I think about it, I’m wondering if they have any method for allowing limited use sch as someone using it to call me if they found it. Ill have to call tomorrow and find out.

Silence04's avatar

Some smartphones, like the iPhone, allow you to login from a computer and type alerts on the phone, and even track where the phone’s gps location is.

Charles's avatar

My phone has scratches and food stains, and it is dirty and smelly. Obviously it is MY phone. It’s also the cheapest, lowest status phone – it has to be CHARLES’s phone.
Otherwise, without the SIM card, I don’t think there is a way to identify it the phone if all data are removed from it’s memory.

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