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How to Find a Lost or Stolen Cell Phone

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September 9th, 2009

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So you’ve lost or misplaced your cell phone? Don’t panic, it’s happened to the best of us. Unless you’re certain someone has stolen your cell phone, relax and start at Step 1.

Step 0: If you’re here, chances are you are probably too late to benefit from GPS location services for your phone. If you successfully recover your phone, however, you may want to look into a GPS tracking service compatible with your device in case you lose your phone again in the future. Loopt and Cactus are two such services.

Step 1: Give your cell phone a call. Especially if your phone could be set to silent (vibrate), make sure the environment where you think you may have left your phone is quiet and listen closely. If you don’t have another phone to call from, try using a free online calling service such as FreeCall.

Step 2: Retrace your steps. Try to recall the last time you remember having or using your phone. Were you in a friend’s car? At the mall? A restaurant? Try checking the lost-and-found or ask a manager if anyone has turned in a cell phone.

Step 3: Call your wireless carrier, tell them your phone has been lost, and ask them to suspend your account. This way, if someone else is in possession of your phone, they will not be able to incur expenses on your account. If you are certain someone stole your phone, contact local police.

Step 4: If you believe someone may be in possession of your phone but no one is picking up, you could try to send a text message to the phone. You can send free text messages online from any number of services such as Txt2Day.

In the text message, you can promise a reward to anyone who returns your phone. If you’re lucky, you may get a response. If you do get a response and wish to set up a time to meet to get your phone back, play it safe and be sure to meet in a public place.

Step 5: If you’ve given it some time and it’s pretty certain that your phone is gone for good, call your carrier, explain the situation, and find out the best next steps. If you need a replacement handset on the cheap, check online sites like Craigslist and Ebay for a good deal.

Shop Now for Phones from AT&T Wirelesss, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Related posts:

  1. How To Block a Phone Number from Calling your Cell Phone
  2. Lower Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill
  3. Cell Phone Plan Special Features
  4. AT&T Wireless Cell Phone Upgrade Eligibility Requirements

22 Responses to “How to Find a Lost or Stolen Cell Phone”

  • My probblem is that my phone was out of battery, so it is nearly impossible to find. It is extremely aggravating, because in the back of my mind, I have a feeling that it is stolen, but I don’t think it was. I just have nowhere to look!

  • Manjeet
    March 28, 2012

    My phone (SAMSUNG GALAXY-S) was stolen in the morning while i was sleeping ,could anyone tel me weather my phone may be tracked or what should i do to get back the same.

    • Manjeet, that sort of tracking can only be done by the carrier. You should contact your carrier immediately, if only to stop the account and avoid charges made by whomever stole the phone. Good luck!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • torimoore
    March 22, 2012

    my cellphone got stolen while my husband was in jail can help me please the number is 936xxxyyyy thank you

    • Tori, if you followed the steps in this article, then there’s nothing more that we can do for you. You need to contact your carrier and have the phone’s service switched off.

      Good luck!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • lost my nokia n82
    IMEI:353188031587641
    help me please
    thank you

    • Soheil, you should contact your carrier to report the loss — I assume that would be T-Mobile. The Nokia N82 launched more than four years ago, which makes it ancient by today’s standards. Once you report the phone as stolen, have T-Mobile get you a new SIM and look for a new phone. Just about anything current today is much more advanced than the N82.

      Good luck!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I misplaced my cell phone while on vibrate mode and knew it was lost in the house, one of our two vehicles or while walking the dog. I tried the call and listen for the vibrate but no luck. I waited until dark, turned the lights out in the house and went from room to room calling, looking for the light. When I got to the first vehicle (full size van), I called and a little glow could be seen in the back seat. It was almost entirely covered by a box on the seat.

  • ricky dozier
    November 11, 2011

    i were at work today working hard and my cell phone came off my belt and someone decided that they would put it in their pocket they could have did the right thing but u know how those people are. i work at sewon if there is any body who can help me or know something would u please call me at 7068811954 i will be willing to pay a reward and i am going to have the phone traced so i can put who ever in jail

  • Rebecca Martini
    November 5, 2011

    My droidx2 was either lost or stolen from wild wings at the bluffton,sc location. If you find this phone, please call me at (843) 384-4409….thanx

    • Rebecca, you should contact Verizon. Verizon can track the phone’s location whenever it is turned on. Talk to Verizon about your options to get the phone returned.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • My husband lost hes cell 10/12/11@jackpot bingo in duncanville.tx please get in touch with me im d wife all I
    Want is d contacts and pictures.please this is our work #
    214/434/5120 is d loss cell# contact me@214/434/9138.
    We can meet or return it@jackpot bingo GOD bless u.

  • paula and glenn green
    September 26, 2010

    please turn my phone back on 5027101835

  • i recently bought a cell phone on craigslist. he didnt tell me that it has a lock code on it and now he doesnt remember what it was. how do i unlock it. i didnt realize this untill i turned it off. now i cant access anything on it.

  • I have found my phone and would like to reactivate it.

  • a.a.capoccia
    May 31, 2010

    lost my cell phone in Rhode Island. I was on my motorcycle

    Please call.. Holliday.. now

  • Bruce Martin
    May 15, 2010

    Don’t know where I lost
    my maroon samsung phone.

  • john pearson
    April 5, 2010

    lost my cell phone, 04-04-2010

  • glenpark
    January 30, 2010

    My phone was picked up by someone in the trailer park, and sent back to you all…. I have no way of knowing who did what…. i would just like a credit back on my account.

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