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Someone put a SIM card in my stolen phone that is still linked to my Google Play account

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by bcsteve, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    My car got broken into in September, and amongst other things my cell phone was stolen. I had never had a SIM card in it and had never used it's telephone capabilities, I bought it when I was traveling in India because I wanted to be able to use wifi and listen to music, etc.

    I recently logged onto my Google Play account and noticed that "Fido" (phone company in Canada) is now listed as the Carrier and that it was most recently used today. I have never been with Fido since I don't live in the city, and obviously I haven't used it since it was stolen in September. I can also see several apps that they have downloaded to it.

    I filed a police report in September. When I found out that my phone was being used with Fido, I gave them a call to see what could be done. They told me nothing could be done with the IMEI number, which I was able to get by calling Google. When I called Fido back they said that I would have to get the police to talk to them instead, which I did. The told the officer in charge of my case that there was nothing that they could do without the phone number or the number of the SIM card. They also didn't seem to believe that I would be able to get the carrier information from Google Play. I seem to be getting the run around from Fido.

    The officer in charge of my case is not an expert on cell phones but he would be happy to pursue the matter further if I could point him in the right direction. Since I am still able to download apps to the phone from the Google Play website, I am wondering if anyone knows of an app that would be able to provide me with the current phone number of that cell phone. I have looked at a few apps like Plan B which could provide me with the location of the phone, but the police have already told me that if it gives me the location of an apartment complex there is little that they can do. If I can get the phone number I think there is a much better chance of finding the person who is using the phone. Does anyone know of an app that would work for this?


    PS: I am more concerned with finding the people who took my phone and discouraging people from buying stolen property than I am with actually getting my phone back. I accepted its loss a long time ago. If we do nothing, however, it only encourages people to continue to steal from us!

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  2. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    by the way, I just tested plan B on my current cell phone and within minutes it was able to pinpoint the location down to 5m. It sent me an email with a link to Google Maps that pointed to the house that I am in.

    quite impressive, but like I said in the above post the phone number will be far more useful in case they are in an apartment building. I will probably try multiple things but I do not want to freak them out before I can get the information that I need
  3. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    sorry I posted this in the wrong forum. not sure how to move or delete it.
  4. Mikestony

    Mikestony ~30% Carbon Black ±
    VIP Member

    Welcome bcsteve and yikes!
    So at this point, someone is using your phone with your google play account to download apps correct? I hope you dis-associated any credit card with also?
    I really don't know what to tell you as you have done alot of research and investigation yourself about it:)

    I was trying to think of something else that can be done if I was in your situation, other than start deleting apps from Play :p.
    I hope you get this resolved or someone else can offer some advice:)
  5. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist

    In plan b when you get within your 5m you can make the phone scream even if its on silent through plan b. I believed you do this by sending a text with a certain word in it or something. Maybe that way you can follow the sound?
  6. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    fortunately it was never linked to my credit card. the person has only been downloading free apps with it.

    and unfortunately I'm unable to send a text to the phone as I do not know it's current phone number. If I had that information, it should be enough for me to be able to find out the name and address of the person who registered it with Fido...
  7. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Hey Steve, welcome to the AndroidForums!

    I've removed your other thread you had in the Android Lounge since it was a duplicate and you've got some traction here (we can always move this one later if need be).

    Pretty wild stuff going on here :eek:.

    Have you tried pushing Plan B (via the web-based Play Store) to your stolen phone to see if it will report it's location to you?

    I ask this for two reasons:

    1. It will tell you where the device is at :)p -- good info to have)

    2. It will tell you if your device does indeed support the remote installation and running of an app like Plan B (apps can be pushed to your device from the web Play Market and they will install, but Google changed Android in recent versions to not allow such apps to auto-start and therefore are not as useful if it requires someone to manually launch it on your device (I'm guessing the thief will not cooperate here ;)))

    Let me know about the above before I tell you some additional thoughts that I have...

    cocokasper and bcsteve like this.
  8. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    been trying to get Plan B installed on the stolen phone but I haven't had any luck so far. I'm going to keep trying though because it might be turned off right now or the person who has it might be cancelling the installation...

    I believe the operating system is gingerbread, o you know if it is too new to auto-start?
  9. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    I think Google updated more recent versions of Android (3.x or 4.x), so I would sort-of expect that your phone would allow Plan B to install and start (and report it's location). They did this, by the way, for security reasons (my opinion).

    I've written a few apps to try to help folks with broken touch screens access things in their phone and tried to use the same methods (I believe) that Plan B and other apps use. Unfortunately, I've only had one member report success with my "rescue" apps that I've built for them.

    So, it's kind of a moot point until we've gotten some kind of verification that the process has a chance of success...
  10. bcsteve

    bcsteve Lurker
    Thread Starter

    It took several attempts throughout the day, but I did finally manage to get Plan B installed and running on the stolen phone. The address was pinpointed to this location:

    [mod edit: redacted location]

    I called the officer that is handling my case, and unfortunately only managed to reach his voice mail. I'm not sure if they will be able to proceed since there are a couple of residences that it could possibly be, but he was quite helpful yesterday and I trust he will do everything he can.

    Now on my Google Play account, "Fido" is no longer listed as the carrier for the phone. I wonder if this means that the person who has my phone got freaking out because Plan B is not very discreet and removed his SIM card. If so, it would lead me to believe that he knows it is a stolen phone and is trying to avoid getting in trouble.

    If he did uninstall Plan B and the phone still has an internet connection (wifi perhaps) I will be able to do this again to see if the phone is still at the same location.

    It is amazing what you can do with a phone these days. I will post an update at some point.
    scary alien likes this.
  11. stitch3484

    stitch3484 Newbie

    wow this is pretty interesting. subbed i wanna find out what happens, i know their are apps that if you have installed before something like this happens you can do a factory reset. maybe they should make an app that that will let you text the stolen phone just to mess with them :D
  12. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    That's awesome news, Steve!

    It's good that you let the Police handle things and I hope everything turns out for the best.

    By the way, I think it's best that I redact the location you listed above for everyone involved (we'll let you inform the Police what they need to know).

    Thanks and keep us posted.
  13. cocokasper

    cocokasper Well-Known Member

    Bump for update!!! lol
    jaymzway likes this.
  14. jaymzway

    jaymzway Android Enthusiast

    I want update from old post. Out come please

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