Everyday, I see this posted to social media: “I found someone’s phone, anyone know whose it is?” And it rarely works. It can’t hurt to crowdsource the request, but please know that you should first check the found phone for Emergency Info.
- On an iPhone, trigger the Lock Screen and tap Emergency, then tap *Medical ID.
- On an Android phone, trigger the Lock Screen and tap Emergency, then tap View emergency info.
The following screen may reveal one or more Emergency Contacts. Tap on an Emergency Contact to call them on the spot. You may be able to work with them to reunite the phone with its owner!
Add Emergency Info to Your Phone
Now that you know this tidbit, your next question is probably “How do I add Emergency Contacts to my phone?”
- On an iPhone, find and open the Health app. Tap your picture to the upper-right and then tap Medical ID. Tap Get Started, and fill out your basic info. Scroll down to find the Emergency Contacts section.
- On an Android phone, find and open the Safety app. Sign in if prompted and then fill out your basic info. Scroll down to find the Emergency Contacts section.
- Add at least one person as an Emergency Contact, and now they can be dialed from your phone, even when it is lost and locked. Note: you can only add them if they are in your normal Contacts list.
As you venture into this part of your phone, you may find a wealth of other safety features. Some phones may offer Car Crash Detection, Emergency SOS and the ability to record and store a video. Explore and learn about them, and activate any others you think are a good idea. Semper Paratus!
If you’ve lost your phone, I’ve already blogged about how to track it down. Make sure to use those methods before you report the phone as lost and disable the SIM.
If you have found someone’s phone, but cannot determine the owner, then you’ll have to figure out what to do with it. Use your best judgment and factor in these items:
- Apple does not typically assist with lost iPhones.
- Keep the phone on and charged, if possible. The owner may call at any moment!
- Turning the phone into the local police is a solid option.
- Turning the phone over to a storefront might be helpful, depending on the circumstances. A phone found in a dressing room should go to the front sales desk. A phone found in a strip mall parking lot? Surrendering it to the police may be a better idea.
- If you can tell what cellular provider services the phone, then you might be able to take it to the appropriate cellular storefront. T-Mobile definitely welcomes you to bring in a found phone. Others may help as well, give them a call before you make the trip.
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