While at work, my cell phone rang showing my wife as the caller. I was surprised when my mother started talking. She said she lost her iPhone while shopping with my wife and because they were presently playing amateur snoops, I would have to pick the children up from daycare.
Amateur snoops? Yes, but not so amateur by the end of the story. All I could think of was identity theft because I know she keeps passwords and other confidential information on her iPhone.
She said she lost it at Jo-Ann Fabrics two hours prior. She mentioned that my wife remembered an app that allows you to track your iPhone if you have Find my iPad/iPhone turned on in the Location Services settings. They were doing just that, tracking her iPhone that was now miles from where she lost it. They called it some 20 times, and texted it, but to no avail. When we spoke on the phone, she said they identified the street that it was on (Water), but not the address. Turns out she didn’t have her glasses on and would have been able to id an exact address for the phone. In either case, I suggested they go to the police station, that as luck would have it, was less then a mile from the address indicated by the app. She agreed to do so and we got off of the phone.
That wasn’t good enough for me. I decided to text the phone, and this was my first salvo:
“Have you stolen this phone? Call me by 5:30 pm or I will show up on Water Street with the police.”
2nd text, one minute after the first:
“Don’t run with it, don’t throw it away. I’ve already identified where you are, so don’t do anything other then call XXX-XXX-XXXX.”
3rd text, two minutes after the first:
“And, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and other possible places it was lost are reviewing videotape as I text you.”
Mom called me back 30 minutes after the first call and blew my mind.
They stopped at the police station and asked for assistance. My wife gave the officer on duty her phone and they agreed to take it, by themselves, to the address listed. As they agreed to do so, the phone started moving, so they high tailed it out of the station. In the meantime, mom had to use the bathroom. When she came out, a woman walked into the police station and said her daughter had “found” this phone. Overhearing this conversation, and spotting her purple phone, she was elated, but highly curious and suspicious.
The woman was nervous and visibly agitated. She said her daughter found it at Jo-Ann Fabrics while shopping together. They didn’t want to ask patrons of the store if anybody lost it for fear of somebody lying and saying it was their phone. I normally turn lost items into management. She also said it was not charged, so she took it home to charge it, then would identify the owner and call to return it. It had less of a charge then when it was lost.
After looking at the phone, we were able to clearly see the apps they had used, when and for how long. Her story wasn’t adding up. In either case, mom was just happy to get her phone back and she didn’t press the matter.
Personally, the feeling of having something that belongs to my mom in the hands of someone else, made me reflect on the clients my business serves. My clients have rendered a service or product and are sometimes in the unfortunate situation where someone hasn’t paid them. Optio Solutions helps businesses recover monies that are owed to them with these effective services.
OK, Aesop’s Fable time. The morals of the story are:
- Password protect any and all devices that allow you to
- Make sure your device allows tracking via GPS
- Don’t store sensitive information on your device