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How to Find the Owner of a Lost Phone

David Pogue
Tech Critic
Yahoo Tech

So some poor soul left his iPhone behind. Or someone set her Samsung Galaxy down and forgot about it.

And here you come, the good Samaritan. The phone is protected by a password. How can you figure out whose phone it is?

If it’s an iPhone, you can use Siri, the voice-activated assistant. While pressing the Home button, say, “Whose phone is this?” Presto: The owner’s name, address, and phone number appears. (Usually. It’s conceivable that the person never put in his own information.)

This works on an iPad, too. In both cases, it works even if the phone is locked.
You might also try saying, “Email me” (and then dictate a note; the phone’s owner will get the email on her computer). You can also try saying, “Call mom” or “text mom.” If the iPhone knows who the owner’s mom is, you’re now well on your way to returning the phone.

If the phone you found is not an iPhone, look at the top of the screen, or the logo on the phone, to figure out what carrier issued it (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or whatever). If you drop the phone off at one of that carrier’s phone stores, they’ll see to it that the phone and its owner are soon reunited.

Too much work? If you can make a call with the phone, press the Talk button to redial the last number called. You’ll wind up calling someone who knows the phone’s owner, and you can get the ball rolling.

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Adapted from Pogue’s Basics, Flatiron Books. Order here.