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Where’s “Lost property” for mobile phones?

By M0les 7 April 2010 24

Hey crowd. My dad just called me to let me know he found a mobile phone at the side of the road on one of his outings. He thought it was dead, but it turned-out to have power (currently) and credit to make calls. He then asked what to do with it. So the question for everyone is:

What do you do with “found” mobile phones?

My best guess it to keep it around waiting for someone to call, then see if constable plod would be interested in it when it dies or you can’t be bothered anymore?

I don’t think rummaging through the last calls log is going to get you very far without a lot of effort and uncomfortable conversations.

Anyone got any better ideas?

FWIW, the phone in question is a Telstra-branded Samsung (don’t know the model) with a Vodafone SIM. This suggests to me it’s a prepaid phone with little intrinsic value (or perhaps a “burner” such-as seen in The Wire – heh!)

KTHXBAI!


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24 Responses to
Where’s “Lost property” for mobile phones?
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Davo111 7:48 pm 08 Apr 10

James-T-Kirk said :

Takes about 5 minutes – just ring the last 3 dialed numbers, and explain you fond the phone, and give them your contact details.

Not uncomfortable at all.

+1, so easy. If you’re scared just text them, and/or ask them for a return address so you can post it…

midlife 2:11 pm 08 Apr 10

Have a bit of fun! Call some “personal service providers” typically located in fyshwick and mitchell. Then return the phone preferably to their other half.

p1 1:43 pm 08 Apr 10

Maybe you should give the name and number of male friends with gender non-specific names?

BimboGeek 1:27 pm 08 Apr 10

p1 the other thing I like to do is give horny men the phone number of random girlfriends, preferably for my CRANKIEST girlfriends. Then the guy tries to phone me, gets my friend and confusion and hilarity occur! I’m starting to get calls for my friends though, so I guess it goes both ways…

Mordd 1:09 pm 08 Apr 10

Pull out the SIM, and call the number on it, you can then give the providers support line the number on the SIM and they will notify the owner or have you return the phone to one of their stores or something similar. Is it really that hard to figure out? Lack of common sense FTL.

cleo 10:18 pm 07 Apr 10

It is common sense to ring last number, that’s what I did when I found a mobil phone, the persons parents came and picked it up.

eucy 8:07 pm 07 Apr 10

I found a mobile on the footpath yesterday. There was no obvious “home” “mum” or “dad” contact, so I looked through the list, found a name who was in there twice with two numbers, so I assumed they were important, and sent a message to them to say I found the phone and could they let the owner know I had it. The person turned out to be the wife of the phone owner, and the phone was returned within a couple of hours. Pretty simple, just common sense really. It took minimal effort and was not uncomfortable!

Primal 8:02 pm 07 Apr 10

If it’s a Vodafone sim, just drop it into the nearest Vodafone retail outlet.

Ryan 6:11 pm 07 Apr 10

phil m said :

Someone lefta mobile at the shop I worked at and I checked the SIM and found that it was a Telstra SIM. I called Telstra and told them the SIM number and that the phone was left at our shop and asked them to contact the owner and tell them where they can collect it from.

That sounds like a good way of getting it back to its owner, but I too fall into the camp who in the first instance would look in the contacts for “home”, “mum” or “dad”

James-T-Kirk 4:36 pm 07 Apr 10

Takes about 5 minutes – just ring the last 3 dialed numbers, and explain you fond the phone, and give them your contact details.

Not uncomfortable at all.

phil m 3:50 pm 07 Apr 10

Someone lefta mobile at the shop I worked at and I checked the SIM and found that it was a Telstra SIM. I called Telstra and told them the SIM number and that the phone was left at our shop and asked them to contact the owner and tell them where they can collect it from.

Alternatively, once the Commonwealth Bank called me to say that the person whose number they were calling from left their phone at the bank and it can be collected from there.

These worked fine in their respective cases.

p1 3:43 pm 07 Apr 10

A quick google of that “me” number provided my with a laugh!

BimboGeek 3:30 pm 07 Apr 10

Egad I’m glad I didn’t lose my phone! My mother is under her name, my father is under an unflattering nickname and “me” is 0419317446!

OTOH the last person I phoned or texted or the first person in my address book would be able to find me – they’re my friends or colleagues so they know exactly where I live or where I work (or both) or can at least drop me a line on Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter!

Danman 1:08 pm 07 Apr 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Handed in a top line Nokia to the show office at the last home show at EPIC. Left my details – no contact.
Can’t help thinking it went home in someone else’s pocket that night…

Thats a real pity because it would only take 5 minutes from the owner to ring their service provider and render the phone a brick (block IMEI) rendering the phone useless for both owner and recipient. So, really, a lose lose situation. Better to hand it back to teh owner, an dthey get all their contacts, messages, pics and videos back (Back up/synch your phone with your computers people, I learnt that when I left mine in a transfer lounge in Hawaii)

There really is no way to steal a phone and have it for your own use these days with IMEI blocking technology.. Ok, there is, but its a pretty advanced learning curve, and your average mobile phone stealing thug would not know how to overcome these obstacles.

Zusi4114 12:44 pm 07 Apr 10

Sorry to sound like a b!tch but what is so unfortable about calling the last dialled number to say do you know who owns this phone and how can I get it back to them?

It doesn’t involved rummaging, or more time than it took you to post! Honestly did this need to be a post at all? I come here looking for pieces of interest and I get I don’t know how to do stuff cr@p…

Sounds like you wanted a chorus of keep it you found it – cos all other options are bloody obvious!

Gungahlin Al 12:17 pm 07 Apr 10

Handed in a top line Nokia to the show office at the last home show at EPIC. Left my details – no contact.
Can’t help thinking it went home in someone else’s pocket that night…

Canberry 9:34 am 07 Apr 10

…or look for other obvious contacts like ‘mum’, ‘dad’, or ‘work’. If not, the last called log might be helpful if there is a number that is in there multiple times. I don’t think the conversations need be uncomfortable. “hey I found this mobile phone by the side of the road and your number is listed in the recent calls. Are you able to let the owner know I have found their phone?”.

Personally we had a call like this when step-son in Sydney lost his phone. We had no idea he’d lost his phone but the honesty of the finder was appreciated.

If you are really really averse to calling anyone, take it to Telstra (since it’s Testra branded) and let then deal with it.

hk0reduck 9:31 am 07 Apr 10

I’ve found two or three phones over the years and normally calling “Home”, “Mum” or “Dad” on the phone will put you on the right track.

trix 9:31 am 07 Apr 10

Yeah, like every other piece of lost property, take it to the cop shop.

krasny 9:05 am 07 Apr 10

Or, take it to the police now while it’s still got some power, so they can actually have those “uncomfortable conversations” and find its owner?

My crappy-looking Ericsson came back to me after the guy who found it called my house-mate and my mother (last two outgoings).

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