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Any way to track stolen iPhone 4 without having previously installed an app

672679 Views 161 Replies Latest reply: Jan 14, 2014 3:55 PM by paulcb RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)
    I had the find my iphone app installed on it.

     

    Having the app installed does nothing to aid tracking. That is only for locating another device from yours.

     

    You need to have configured a free "Find my iPhone" MobileMe account (or a paid account) in the Settings for Find my iPhone to have a chance at working. Deleting the "Find my iPhone" app will not stop the phone from being tracked as long as the account is setup correctly, location services is turned on, the phone has power and an internet connection.

     

    You can't track the phone via IMEI number.

  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (26,940 points)

    The Find My iPhone service is free, and does not require a subscription, as has already been said in this thread.

     

    If the SIM card is changed (presumably by a thief), they will certainly reset the phone, which will remove all trace of your ownership.

     

    Find my iPhone is NOT useful for tracking stolen iDevices.

     

    Matt

  • JonDo71 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    You can remotely lock the phone with 'Find my iPhone'.

  • unepommeestunepomme Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    my iphone has been stolen tonight. same story, no mobile me account or other apps.

    the cops are like so **** useless it's like they work with technology of the XIXth century,

    i don't get why, knowing that stolen phones is so common, there's not just a simple way to find it quickly.

    i'm just thinking there MUST be a way to track it!

    is there somewhere in the world a hacker who would know it?

    i'm so ****** again the guy who did it that i'm willing to pay someone to do it, just to find him back.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,190 points)

    As has been said here numerous times now, there is no way for you to track it. The police could get a court order to have the cell carrier locate it, assuming it's still on the same carrier and activec, but they aren't going to go to that effort unless it was a much more serious matter than just a stolen phone. Sorry.

  • cjhuck77 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been reading this thread, and maybe I already know the answer to my question, but my iPhone 4S was stolen on Saturday. My wife used iCloud to track it, and the last reported location was shown, and now the location service is turned off.

     

    I just think that there's got to be some way, somehow, other than iCloud to find this phone. Apple says there's not...carrier says there's not....but what about tracking the IMEI or the MAC address? Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated...

  • paulcb Level 6 Level 6 (18,675 points)

    Sorry, but as you said, you already know the answer... no.

  • trojanhorse Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Ideally, apart from the Find my iphone app, the way to track any lost phone is using the IMEI. When you make a call from your phone, your Mobile no, as well as IMEI no. goes to the network provider. This way the IMEI no. is tracked, and if the call hapens to be for a sufficiently long time, you will be able to trace that location. But, as Dave pointed out, the police are never going to put in that much effort to find your phone unless it is a much more serious matter. All the best if you "know" someone in that department.

  • andiesmith7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Found this on a website earlier today. Lost my phone last night, didn't know about track my iphone, mobileme, none of it. But I did speak with the gentleman on the phone, and he said if I get a court order to subpoena the gps tracking of the phone, they can locate my phone for me.

     

    Now my problem is that it's Veteran's Day! Can we do something about that?! Haha. Below is the information I found!

     

    fyi, once you file a police report for the stolen phone, the police department can subpoena At&t for tracking information concerning the imei number. There is a whole department there just for that. most police either don't know or are too lazy to do anything. But when you show them the info there's not much they can due but do their job.

    Business Hours
    Business Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. EST Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00a.m. EST Saturday and Sunday
    Open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for emergency and exigent circumstances
    Contact Numbers
    Main Phone: (800) 635-6840
    Subpoena Information: Option 1
    Court Order Information: Option 2
    PSAP Requests for Information: Option 4
    Facsimile: (888) 938-4715
    Routing issues may be called in or sent to aws.subpoena.compliance.center@attws.com

  • JThomasLondon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I lost my iPhone last December. I had Mobile me application. After losing it I realised(after much research) it is a useless application. 90% of the thieves are professionals, they will reset your phone(any way they had to because 90% of iPhones are number locked). If they reset your phone no application can find your phone, as somebody said Game Over. but I think it is high time that Apple has to link IMEI to mobile me application. Unfortunately  that mobile me is generally is a useless application in case of theft, it is only useful if you accidently misplace it somewhere.

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)

    JThomasLondon wrote:

     

    Unfortunately  that mobile me is generally is a useless application in case of theft, it is only useful if you accidently misplace it somewhere.

     

    Which, realistically, is ALL it was ever intended for.  It was clearly never designed to be a theft protection service and onyone who relies on it as such is simple being very naive about it's inherent capabilities.

     

    P.S.  The reason Apple, nor any cell phone producer selling in the USA, get involved with IMEI or other tracking is the jungle of privacy laws and potential violation of personal freedoms that would entail.  Complain about it all you want, but neither Apple nor your cell phone company is empowered to practice as a law enforcement agency (thank goodness for that as well, IMO).  BTW, your car dealership won't actively search for your stolen car either, and would you honestly expect them to?

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (24,500 points)

    I just read today that in Australia cell phone carriers will permanently block the IMEI of phones reported stolen. This has made a significant dent in the number of stolen phones.

  • maltiel@haradar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Europe and Australia do that.  Actually a police report is filed in EU, then the police order ALL carriers to block the particular IMEI of the stolen phone.

     

    The US is so funny.  They worry about perceived privacy violations.  Our government has us tracked whenever they want, with no questions asked, and they use the services provided by companies to do it.  We are already tracked, have been for quite some time, and now it's all legal with the Patriot Act. 

     

    A simple way to get around the fear of privacy fears is for Apple to offer an agreement.  When one purchases an iPhone that phone's IMEI is specific to the phone and therefore to the purchaser.  Simply sign an agreement at time of purchase that Apple be allowed to track the phone in case of theft.  They could even capitalize on it and charge a fee.

     

    The laws are currently set up for criminal activity in this area to flourish. 

  • Katarina Mårtenson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I used Nokia long, long time ago. As a member and registering a new Nokia cell phone I had to type in the IMEI number to my account when registering the phone. Apple should do this too or, when buying a new iPhone the store type the IMEI in along with your cell phone number and register it in store.

     

    My friend got his iPhone 4 stolen last week. Instantly the app Find my iPhone was turned off and has been since. He has tried to both track it and send messages but no luck. I think the thieves just turn off the app Find my iPhone, pull out the SIM card and then create a new account on iTunes and activate the phone as new. There are many iPhones stolen, it must be something the thieves know about to avoid iPhone being found again.

  • diesel vdub Level 7 Level 7 (20,735 points)

    That's nice, but neither Apple or Nokia are law enforcement.  It is not their responsibility to track a users device.

     

    Report it to law enforcement.  Report it to the carrier.  If the carrier offers blacklisting of IMEI numbers, that will be done.

     

    Apple, like all device manufacturers has nothing to do with this.

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