The story of a stolen iPhone

I love going to concerts. The atmosphere is great, the music is good, and it’s generally fun. On September 8th, Road to Ultra was held in Delhi and as the EDM lover that I am, I went to the concert even though Greater Noida is nowhere near my favorite place.

The music was good, me and my friends had a great time until the concert was over. When it was over we went on to fetch water as all the dancing and hot weather left us with dry throats. Apparently we weren’t alone because there were a lot of people on the counter with wrinkled papers in their fists. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. We pushed our way to the counter and after what seemed like a rush we finally managed to get hold of a bottle. My friend held out the bottle like an award for a great victory, but that victory was short-lived because the next moment we found that our two phones were gone.

It was that moment when your face went cold and you felt your heartbeat get faster. I kept searching my pockets desperately waiting for my phone to come back and say, “I’m just fucking with you, brother.” After searching in vain for hours, we made our way back with the same miserable water bottle that cost us more than a hundred thousand rupees.

Of course, we tried Apple’s Find my iPhone app all this time, but the thief was clever because both phones were offline, probably in airplane mode. After a long, painful, and silent drive home, I spent hours online trying to find out if there was any chance of getting my phone back. I put lock mode on my phone and offered a pretty treat to anyone who returned it. I knew that would never happen, but at times like these a man has to try his luck.

A few days went by and the pain of a lost iPhone was replaced with the pain of switching to Android. I have nothing against Android, actually my second SIM is always in an Android phone, but when you are closely integrated into the Apple ecosystem, life with everything else is a torture.

In these 2 days I had thought that-

  • The thief would likely disassemble my phone and sell the parts separately as he couldn’t recover it without my iCloud ID and password.
  • Once the phone was back online, I would get the location through Find My iPhone
  • The next time I go to a concert, I leave my phone safe in a safe at home.

By now I had come to terms with the fact that I would probably never get my phone back. I was working around 2am when I received a notification from Find My iPhone. Suddenly there was a dazzling glimmer of hope. While the application was loading, I was already thinking about how to ambush the thief on site. But the notification was not related to the location. It notified me that Lost Mode has now been activated on the phone. The beam was a little darker now, but at least there was some activity. I thought there might be a way out after all.

I spent all night checking for Find My iPhone without sleeping a minute. The next day at 1 p.m. I got a message. In fact, since I had set his phone number as the contact number, my father got a message in case the thief decided to give up his wicked life and return my precious phone. It was a message from Apple. Here’s what it read

In a moment of excitement and frenzy, I opened the link provided and logged in. The website has closed abruptly. When I turned on Find My iPhone, all of my devices were gone. There was literally no phone on the list. I felt a shiver down my back. I immediately called Apple Support and read the message to them.

Here comes the moment when I finally gave up trying to outsmart the thief. The message I received was never from Apple. It was an extremely clever phishing attempt. The link wasn’t Apple’s, it was a phishing link that conveniently gave the thief my iCloud email and password. It was then that I realized that this was not a battle of the mind. I was never on the thief. He was always two steps ahead. Now that he had my data, he was able to unlink my device from my Apple ID and restore it for a brand new phone.

Well played thief, well played. I’ve given up all hope of getting my phone back now. It’s likely 1000 miles away and sold in a tiny, seedy store teeming with cunning thieves and stolen iPhones.

Have you ever had your cell phone stolen? Share your experience in the comments below!

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