Did you lose your iPhone recently? There’s still hope of finding it, or at least get a step closer to finding who has it.
Despite how advance technology has developed, it’s still a challenge to locate stolen electronic devices. Apple’s Find My iPhone app may helped some people, but it gets pretty useless once the device is turned off and everything on it is wiped out.
If you think you’ve tried everything to get your iPhone back, you’re probably wrong. Let me tell you why.
Each iPhone is unique because it has its own IMEI number, serial number and more recently it can also be tied to an ICCID number (you can find all these under Settings, General, About). ICCID is the short form for Integrated Circuit Card ID.
The Police have two methods for tracking your iPhone when it’s stolen, they can use your phone number or your IMEI number. The problem with your phone number is that thieves can easily just discard your SIM card and replace it another.
Now, this is how it gets interesting. If someone uses a different SIM card with your missing iPhone, the SIM’s card ICCID number is registered onto Apple’s database after the iPhone is restored and activated via iTunes.
It’s more difficult for the police to find your iPhone based on the IMEI, however, using the ICCID, they can query this number from carriers such as AT&T or T-Mobile and find the mobile number tied to it. Take a look at this thread on Apple’s support forum.
On some cases, we can also find the CTN associated to your iPhone. CTN stands for Cellular Telephone Number, and ultimately the number that you’re looking for. Please take note that ICCID or CTN will not be updated on Apple’s database if the iPhone hasn’t been restored or activated on iTunes. In the example above, I was able to get the CTN after querying the Apple database. The CTN is also the same as FaceTime number.
I know that it’s going to be a long shot to locate your stolen iPhone. However, with this piece of information that we can help you get, you will be a step closer to find who has your iPhone, who can either be a thief or a second hand buyer of your iPhone.