1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    Hi guys, please help.
    Someone stole my android phone a few days ago.
    I did block my sim card (although I think I didn't even do that, getting rid of it and switching off the phone is the first robbers do- I called my number few minutes after and it was obviously switched off) and change my google password. But I still want it back, of course.
    Now, I did a bit of a research on how to find stolen phones, but it was not much help because everyone is talking about how you can find your phone when you ALREADY have this app, the IMEI tracking and so on.
    Well, I didn't have that. I was always being careful with my phone (up to that moment,apparently), never occured to me to put that textra protection, didn't even know about all thise things (yes, I am a silly girl, we can talk about that later, now I'd like your help,please). Then somehow I did manage to go to the find my phone by google, pressed the searched button, but it couldn't locate my phone. Now, does this only work when the device is online? What I am asking is if there is a chance that one day it will find it (or why do you think it is that it cannot find it). Also, I read that the phones can take a picture of the person holding your phone, but I am a no hacker, and besides I am not even able to locate my phone in the first place. Just thought it would be better to snap a picture of that rubbish that stole from me, because I am not entirely convinced about the find my phone option. I located my other device just to see if it is working, and although it did find that device, it was a few blocks off which is not much help when I want to go there and take what's mine!
    Just want my phone back.
    Help would be appreciated, thank you.

    Careless girl
    01-20-2019 03:56 AM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Sorry that you have to deal with this. Google's Find My Device requires the phone to be powered on, connected to the web, with Location turned on, in order to work. I believe the same goes for Samsung's Find My Mobile, except Location might not have to be turned on to remotely wipe the phone.

    You've already done the most important thing, which is to change your Google password. I'd also make sure to change the password of any other sensitive account you may have had on the phone.

    Did you have a screen lock set on the phone, or was it just swipe only? If you had a screen lock and you changed your Google password, then the thief won't be able to break into your phone, unless he or she is a very knowledgeable hacker (and most thieves aren't, because they're just dumb as rocks). They won't even be able to reset the phone to use it as their own, because Google's Factory Reset Protection will ask the person for your Google account and password to proceed. If you didn't have a screen lock set, then you can try to use Find My Device to remotely lock the phone -- for devices that didn't already have a screen lock set, it will ask you to create a PIN. If the phone is off and not connected to the web, I believe Find My Device will wait for the phone to be powered on and connected, and then send that command.

    The ability of a phone to take a selfie during an unsuccessful unlock attempt it a feature of 3rd party security apps -- it's not a native feature of the phone. Apps like Lookout can do this.
    01-20-2019 01:55 PM

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