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Old Feb 10, 09, 11:43 pm   #1
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Found an iPhone, can't find owner - Now what?

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Last edited by planemechanic; Feb 12, 10 at 4:38 am.
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Old Feb 10, 09, 11:50 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by planemechanic View Post
So I found an iPhone on an airplane. No one else was on board so I have no idea how long it has been there. I plugged it in to iTunes and it says "Can not connect to M***** J******'s iPhone". But I have no way of knowing where he lives or any way to contact him. I am nowhere near an AT&T store or an Apple store so I have no way to ask them to help find the owner. When I turn on the phone it say iPhone is Disabled - connect to iTunes, but as I said, iTunes won't connect to it unless the passcode is entered, and that's why it's disabled in the first place.

Any suggestions? I would like to do the right thing and return it, but if I can't I would like to make use of it somehow, it just does not feel right to throw it away.
Might sound stupid but look at the contact list and see if you can find a contact called ''home'' or ''mom'' or ''work'' etc....

Thats how I traced the owner of the last phone I found....
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Old Feb 11, 09, 12:05 am   #3
 
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iPhone disabled could mean that the owner has reported its loss, such that the iPhone number is put under the 'black' list which is for like stolen cell phones.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 12:54 am   #4
 
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I believe the error code you are seeing is what happens when you enter an incorrect passcode to many times. The passcode is a security feature that you can choose to turn on to protect your contact info and other sensitive information such as private emails, in case the phone gets lost or stolen. If a person enters an incorrect code to many times the device locks up until it is plugged into the computer and reset.

A few things I would try are to Google the persons name if it is not too generic and see if you can get a hit. Also if you are on Facebook, see if there is a person on Facebook with the same name and send them a message.

I have also read stories about how people have brought the phones into Apple stores where they can look up the serial number and see who it is registered to and contact them.

Edit: I also notice that your handle implies that you are an airplane mechanic, if you work for the company on which you found the phone do you have access to the flight manifests to match the tail number of the plane and you can look it up that way.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 1:07 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by adambadam View Post

A few things I would try are to Google the persons name if it is not too generic and see if you can get a hit. Also if you are on Facebook, see if there is a person on Facebook with the same name and send them a message.

I have also read stories about how people have brought the phones into Apple stores where they can look up the serial number and see who it is registered to and contact them.

Edit: I also notice that your handle implies that you are an airplane mechanic, if you work for the company on which you found the phone do you have access to the flight manifests to match the tail number of the plane and you can look it up that way.
A couple of thoughts about the above suggestions:

I'm assuming that the phonebook is locked up because of the security feature which is too bad. Scrolling through it was how I once found the owner of a cell phone

If you contact someone using Google/Facebook, I'd send them a note asking if they were recently on a UA/AA/CO flight and did they happen to lose something? I wouldn't say "Are you John Doe and did you lose an iPhone?" It could be too tempting for someone who is not the real owner.

Also, although you may live far from an Apple store, you could call them and explain the situation. They might be willing to have you mail it to them so they can follow up on the iTunes/registration/owner.

Good luck with it. Let us know if you find the owner.

DD
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Old Feb 11, 09, 3:56 am   #6
 
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IMEI number should be a quick way sorting it out? If you call Apple...
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Old Feb 11, 09, 4:16 am   #7
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IMEI number should be a quick way sorting it out? If you call Apple...
How would one go about finding it? The phone is locked.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 6:26 am   #8
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Out of curiosity, why didn't you just turn it into the airport lost and found?

If I lost my phone, I'd be calling lost and found, not sitting at home hoping a random stranger took it off the plane and brought it home trying to find ways to contact me.

FWIW; Call Apple and give them the serial number. They'll be able to get in touch with the owner.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 6:48 am   #9
 
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As others suggested, call apple or if it's an AT&T Iphone you can call AT&T too. If you can get to the IMEI *#06# (I think you can do this on some phone even when it's locked). The chances of you being able to use it are very slim anyway. I would think apple or AT&T will not mind footing the the cost to send it in to them.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 6:58 am   #10
 
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I think you can dial 611 on the phone and it will connect you with ATT customer service. They should be able to get through to the owner.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 7:25 am   #11
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I think you can dial 611 on the phone and it will connect you with ATT customer service. They should be able to get through to the owner.
and if the phone is locked so you can't turn it on or access any of the information as noted above, call at&t customer service at 1-800-331-0500 as i'm sure there is a way that they can help in i/d'ing the phone by a s/n since they are the provider in the u.s (or perhaps you could pop into an apple store?)
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Old Feb 11, 09, 7:38 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Out of curiosity, why didn't you just turn it into the airport lost and found?

If I lost my phone, I'd be calling lost and found, not sitting at home hoping a random stranger took it off the plane and brought it home trying to find ways to contact me.

FWIW; Call Apple and give them the serial number. They'll be able to get in touch with the owner.
Along these lines... If you are a mechanic and found this on a plane doesnt your employer have a policy requiring you to turn it in? Are you supposed to play detective trying to find the owner.. The owner may very well have contacted the airline and is hoping that it was found.

Also even considering "just throwing it away" Is absurd. I don't find what you are doing to be in the best interest of the owner or the airline.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 7:46 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Out of curiosity, why didn't you just turn it into the airport lost and found?

If I lost my phone, I'd be calling lost and found, not sitting at home hoping a random stranger took it off the plane and brought it home trying to find ways to contact me.
Or better yet, hand it to an FA and tell them in which seat you found it.
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Old Feb 11, 09, 7:52 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Out of curiosity, why didn't you just turn it into the airport lost and found?

If I lost my phone, I'd be calling lost and found, not sitting at home hoping a random stranger took it off the plane and brought it home trying to find ways to contact me.
Exactly what I was thinking. What's wrong with dropping it off at the airport lost and found?

OP already has the name of the owner, assuming the flight #, date/time & the airport where the plane landed and phone found. Any airline that provides good customer services shall be able to match all these info and locate the original owner. There's no need for OP to play the detective and find the owner.

Last edited by lin821; Feb 11, 09 at 2:20 pm. Reason: typo
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Old Feb 11, 09, 8:12 am   #15
 
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Lightbulb

You can turn it over to the police and let them find the owner.
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