Losing your iPhone is a nightmare, but with improved technology and a special database access, we helped reunite our customer with his stolen iPhone.
Most people think that once you lost your iPhone you will never see it back, unless, if the person who found your iPhone is kind enough to return it to you. If you’ve installed Apple’s Find My iPhone, potentially it may help you find it as well, but not always.
Let’s admit it, the iPhone is a highly desirable device. A lot of people couldn’t resist it if they found one or if they can buy it at a good price (stolen ones are usually sold cheap).
I’m writing this case study to share with you guys how we helped one of our many customers track and find his iPhone back. It took him less than a week to find the whereabouts of his stolen iPhone which is quite impressive. Normally there’s no chance for you to find out about what happened to your iPhone or even with the police’s help, it will take ages before they would have any information about your iPhone’s whereabouts. Please be sure to read my blog on ‘It’s Possible to Track Your Stolen with ICCID and CTN‘ which I wrote two weeks ago.
Our customer, Mr. S used our service called ‘Find Your Stolen or Missing iPhone‘ last week. He lost a 16GB iPhone 5 which was purchased around December last year.
We only need two piece of information to help track his iPhone.
- The IMEI number – can be found on the box, receipt or invoice from the store you purchased it. Your carrier may have this information as well.
- The phone number of the SIM card that went missing with the iPhone.
We need the phone number just for comparison whether it’s the same or different with the missing number. It’s not really necessary to have this information but it will be very useful.
After Mr. S placed his orders, we used his IMEI to check his iPhone information on Apple’s database. The basic check didn’t return any useful information so we used a more advanced check that returned the following:
- First Unbrick Date: 12/18/12 [this shows when the iPhone was first restored using iTunes, unbrick is Apple's internal terminology for 'restore']
- MAC Address: 30F7C570xxxx [the iPhone's hardware address, not important for tracking]
- Last Unbrick Date: 06/01/13 [the date of when the iPhone was last restored using iTunes]
- ICCID: 898602A119128xxxxxxx [the information needed to track his phone, the SIM's card unique identifier]
- Unbricked: true [means it's already restored]
- Unlocked: true [means it's already unlocked]
- Unlock Date: 06/01/13 [self explanatory]
The query didn’t return any phone number; although sometimes it would if the iPhone’s FaceTime is activated, but with the ICCID, it now gives him a step closer to find his iPhone. This website has an ICCID reverse lookup function that will tell you the carrier and phone number tied to the ICCID. Upon entering the ICCID, it returned the following result:
Based on screenshot above, it has been identified that the carrier used on his iPhone is from China Mobile (he was using China Unicom before), the phone number is 1571xxxxxxx (the last 7 digits were intentionally concealed), the SIM card was made in year 2012 and the current location is at Guangdong Province in China.
Mr. S lost his iPhone in Beijing and now it has traveled to the South of China which is approximately 2,000km away. With China Mobile and police’s help, he’s now able to locate the current user of his iPhone.
This service is available to all users worldwide and not specifically in China. It’s quicker if the missing iPhone has been restored on iTunes with a SIM card inserted and FaceTime activated. If you just lost your iPhone, consider using our service here.
Our other IMEI related services are also helping those who have been scammed into buying blacklisted iPhones. As many of you are aware, once a device is blacklisted by a carrier, it can never be used.
If you happen to be a victim of a scam and have no way to use your iPhone again, be sure to check our IMEI/ESN/MEID services to see if there’s a possible solution for you.