11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 1, 2013 1:51 PM by KiltedTim
AYoung87 Level 1 (0 points)

My iPhone 4s was stolen recently.  I did not have it password locked.  At the time, I also had the wifi off and cellular data off to conserve battery.  Unfortunately I was unable to get to a computer until the next day.  As soon as I was able to open the Find My iPhone application I changed the setting to “Lost Mode” and added a password.  As of right now, it says that my iPhone is offline and that “Lost Mode” is pending. I know that the phone was turned off when it was taken because my calls went straight to voice mail.  I’m assuming that my iPhone being “offline” means that it is still off. 


Is it possible that during the time it took me to get access to the Find My iPhone app, the thief was able to turn on my phone and disconnect the app from working?


Will the application even work if wifi AND cellular data are both off?


Assuming the app IS working, I checked off the “notify me when found” box, how will it notify me?


Is it possible to track the iPhone while off?


Can I prevent the iPhone from being restored or used with another carrier?  I haven’t switched my service to a new phone yet, so I’m assuming they won’t be able to switch carriers without my knowledge. 


Any help that can be provided will be extremely appreciated.

iPhone 4S, iOS 6.1.4
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,135 points)

    More than likely, your phone has already been erased...defeating Find My Phone. Thieves are smart, & know to turn iPhones off, & then erase them. Once done, there is no way to track them.


    If the phone was running iOS 7.0, Activation lock would make the phone useless.

  • Michael Black Level 6 (19,630 points)

    If both wifi and cellular are off, you cannot do a thing to it remotely.  There has to be a data connection for the servers and it to communicate.


    And yes, without a passcode on it, all they had to do was go into your iCloud account settings and turn find my iPhone "OFF" (unless you had a restrictions passcode in effect and had disallowed any changes to accounts?).


    Also, if you were not running iOS 7, they can just plug it into iTunes and restore it as new, wiping out all your content and resetting it back to original default settings.  After that, they can use it as they wish.


    Although, without a passcode lock on it, they can use it as they wish as soon as they had it in their hands.


    At this point there is nothing you can do but file a police report and hope for some good luck.


    Change the passwords to any accounts you used on the iPhone so they cannot use your email accounts or gain access to any online accounts.

  • AYoung87 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow. Thank you both for your quick responses!


    So far everytime I've called my phone it goes straight to voicemail.  That means that it could be either off, on airplane mode, or it was restored.


    If it was restored, then I don't mind as much because they don't have accesss to my information and picutres.


    According to you Michael, if it is still off, the thief will be able to turn it on and use it as he pleases as long as he doesn't turn on cellular data or the wifi? I'm not sure if I had a passcode restirtion on account changes.  If he did turn off the application through the iCloud, wouldn't I be able to see it using iCloud.com and turn the setting back on? 


    Or is it possible that he turned off the app and has the phone on airplane mode? That would mean that he could use it with wifi but not recieve incoming calls.  Is that correct?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,135 points)

    AYoung87 wrote:

    Or is it possible that he turned off the app and has the phone on airplane mode? That would mean that he could use it with wifi but not recieve incoming calls.  Is that correct?


    Correct. But I suspect your sim has been thrown out & the phone restored, & it's either on eBay, Craig's List or sitting in a Pawn shop, or already sold on a street corner.

  • Michael Black Level 6 (19,630 points)

    If you did not have a passcode lock on it, or at least have changes to accounts restricted, then anyone with it can just go into your iCloud account settings and disable find my iPhone.


    That would be no different than you doing the same thing if you still had it.  And no, you cannot do anything to it to re-enable the setting remotely.  Once the setting is disabled, the connection between the iCloud servers and your device is gone, and all remote tracking and commands are useless to you.


    They could disable find my iphone, reanable wifi and cellular and use your phone just as if they were you when you had it.  They can read your emails, send to your contacts, read your contancts - anything they want.


    Without a passcode lock on it, they can do anything you could do when you had it.  That is the whole point of a passcode lock - to keep others from gaining unrestricted access to your device.


    Sorry, not meaning to sound curt over your loss, but seriously, to my mind walking around with a smart phone without a passcode on it is like leaving your home with all the doors and windows unlocked and flung wide open.

  • AYoung87 Level 1 (0 points)

    My carrier is Verizon Wireless (CDMA).  No Sim Card.


    I'm hoping that you are right and they restored it.  My fear is the scenario that they are using my phone freely.


    It sound like at this point doing a wipe is also ineffective?

  • KiltedTim Level 8 (48,630 points)

    Did you not report it to Verizon and have them shut down the service?  You may find yourself in for a rather large bill if you didn't...

  • Michael Black Level 6 (19,630 points)

    Yes, as KiltedTim says, have you not already called the carrier, reported it and cancelled your account?!  I just assumed you had already done that first thing.


    Call Verizon, and make sure to change all your passwords, now, not later!


    You cannot do a remote wipe if you cannot even locate it in your iCloud account tracking tool, so even hoping for that is a moot issue anyway.  Offline is offline - you cannot send a remote command to a device that the system has no connection with.

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,135 points)

    If you had a 4S, you had a sim card in the phone. While not used in the US, it was still there.

  • AYoung87 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I called Verizon and filed a police report.  I also changed the passwords to my email and Facebook.


      Thank you for your concern though.

  • KiltedTim Level 8 (48,630 points)

    If you reported it to Verizon, then you will be unable to call your phone... It's been deactivated by Verizon. Since you had no passcode on it, there is nothing to prevent the person who has it from doing whatever they want, however, they should not be able to activate it on Verizon's network since it's been reported lost/stolen.