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How to Find the Owner of a Lost iPhone

Accidentally come across a lost iPhone? What should you do with it? Most of the time, your biggest concern is to find out its original owner and return the phone to him, as it should be. However, to find the owner of a lost iPhone is not always an easy task, especially when the owner has enabled a passcode lock. Luckily, Apple's iPhone is so powerful and functional enough that, with some tricks used, you may be able to contact with the owner with ease!

4 Ways to Get in Touch with the Owner of a Lost iPhone


Check the Recent Calls, If It Is Not Passcode Locked

Obviously, no one would like anyone else to invade their privacy, but checking the recent calls is the most easy and straightforward way to get the correct information about the phone owner, and should be forgiven if you're serious about returning the iPhone. So, if the iPhone you come across is not locked by passcode, just go through its recent calls, look for a number that's communicated with regularly, such as "Home", "Mom", etc. That's simple enough. Just call them, tell them who you are and why you have the phone, and then the problem could be solved.


Ask Siri for Help If There's a Passcode

In most cases, people would set a passcode lock on their iPhone, which makes the cases a little more complicated. However, what you may not realize is that, even if the iPhone is passcode locked, you can still use it to make phone calls or text messages via Siri -- unless the owner has disable this functionality in Settings. Anyway, it's always a good choice to try Siri.

Simply hold down the Home button to lauch Siri from the Lock screen, and then try asking Siri to "Call home", "Call mom", "Call my wife" and the like to see if that gets you any response. Or you can even ask Siri "Who am I?" or "Who this phone belongs to?", then if the data stored on the phone are complete enough, Siri will return with who she thinks the iPhone belongs to, as well as the contact information.


Keep Powered on and Answer Incoming Calls

Apart from the 2 ways above, another common method to confirm the phone owner is to answer the incoming calls. More often than not, people will try calling their own numbers when they notice their phones are lost. If you're lucky enough, when you answer the incoming call, probably it is from the phone owner, or from the owner's family, friends, or at least from someone that know the phone owner better than you. In this case, you need to keep the iPhone charged and powered on because you never know when the phone will ring.


Look up the IMEI/MEID Number

The IMEI (or MEID for some CDMA phones) is a unique number for every iPhone. Look up the IMEI or MEID number and have it reported to the phone's carrier. In this way, the owner's carrier can use the information to track the owner down and hopefully contact with him. If possible, you can directly go to the carrier's store and have them handle the problem; if not, just call the carrier over the phone and tell them the details. Here's where you can find the IMEI or MEID number:

iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5: Printed on the back casing towards the bottom

iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G: Remove the SIM tray and you will find the IMEI or MEID printed, as well as the serial

For more information about this, you can read Apple's great support articles:

#1 How to remove the SIM card from an iPhone or iPad

#2 How to find the serial number, IMEI, MEID, CDN, and ICCID number of an iPhone or iPad

It's a Wrap!

Remember, the original phone owner can always easily use Find My iPhone to track his phone, remotely lock it or wipe it, as well as calling his carrier or the police to report it lost/stolen. Therefore, a lost iPhone is totally no use to you, and keeping a lost phone and not turning it in is illegal and can be considered theft. When you come across a lost iPhone, try to find the phone owner and return it, or if you think it's troublesome, you can directly turn it in to the police.

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