How To Add Insult To Injury With My Lost Phone – Part 4
Yes, as if it couldn't get any worse, the thief decided to add insult to injury. But more on that in a moment.
THIS IS A CONTINUATION FROM PART 3: My Lost Android and Cerberus – Part 3
I decided to send messages to the phone, which would display the message on the screen until manually cleared by an unlock motion from the thief. I wasn't locking the phone (yet), just sending him a message to see if he might choose to do the right thing.
From the control panel, I chose the "send message" command. And sent this message first: ("This is not your phone"). That was my head's up that I was with him.
Then I started sending regular messages that I wanted my phone back and the number for him to call. Each time this message would lock onto his home screen and would remain until he cleared the screen. Another chance for him to do the right thing.
While that was happening, I was still trying other methods to get the phone back. I attempted to use the SEND SMS feature of the control panel and send messages to a friend and to my phone number. None of them went through. This could have been due to a problem with Cerberus Anti-Theft App, or he could have had no money/load in his phone so no messages could be sent.
As I said in the last part, I knew he was using the phone because I could see him playing with the settings and using Facebook. I just could never get his Facebook front page.
The rear camera was his feet — and they looked like any other feet.
The other photos that came through were of the ceiling or completely black and were worthless. I had hoped for more but no luck.
None of this was working in getting my phone back, and it was about to get worse, when the thief decided to add insult to injury. So I tried a few more things.
So I took more screenshots (or "screen grabs" as one of my friends like to call them) and my jaw hit the floor. If it wasn't enough that he had my lost phone, he decided to add insult to injury and INSTALL AN ANTI THEFT SOFTWARE!!!! I couldn't believe it. It is a good thing I couldn't jump through the phone.
So that was it – I had enough. I decided to wipe the phone. I tried wipe SD card first. Cerberus wouldn't complete the action because I forgot to give permission to Cerberus to wipe the phone when it was in my hands. I tried wipe device memory, and again Cerberus wouldn't execute the command. Damn!
My next and final step was to lock the phone with a message to call me. Once locked, I could no longer access the phone through the control panel, but I could see that the phone was still making contact with Cerberus through the "last seen" date and time.
So to the best of my knowledge, the phone is locked with a LONG numeric code. And I would guess that the thief is trying everything to figure out what happened and what "his" anti-theft software did.
Eventually he will perform a hard reset. The unique part of Cerberus, is that if your phone is rooted (mine was), Cerberus will survive and re-contact the server when it is back online. And I can do this all again.
Moral of the story: When you find a phone, do the right thing and return it — especially when the owner is sending you messages with his phone number on it!
And a final few words about Cerberus. It works.
With the unfortunate loss of a phone, I have been able to check all the features, and for the most part, they all work. The ones that didn't perform, could have been due to my error in settings, or the Lenovo itself, which isn't a 100% truly compatible phone.
No, I didn't get my phone back. But if I had configured Cerberus App correctly in the first place, I would have been able to wipe my data and make sure no one would have anything from my phone.
Plus I've been able to have a little fun with the person who stole it. That is worth something. If only it was a "Get Smart" phone and had "remote destruction". Then I would be happy.
This is Part 4. To start at the beginning, click here: Find My Android – Lost Phone vs Stolen Phone – Part 1