TikToker’s hack to recover stolen iPhone sparks debate

TikToker's hack to recover stolen iPhone sparks debate
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A TikToker’s viral stolen iPhone hack has sparked a debate in the comments about whether knowing the location of a stolen device is useful when there’s no way to retrieve it.

Creator, Katrina Audrey (@katrinaforeal), self sharing iPhone theft story and users have been introduced to the step-by-step process of how to locate an iPhone even if the device is turned off. His video has more than 11.5 million views.

“If your phone gets stolen you should do this iPhone hack because mine did last night and I got it back,” Katrina said. He adds that he learned the hack from @.viewing technology On Instagram.

@katrinaforeal #iphonehack #iphonehacks #stolen phone voucher #stolen phone #iphonetricks and tips #iphone tricks #iphonetricksandhacks #BigInkEnergy ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

“The first step is to go to Face ID and Passcode, you want to disable Control Center and USB Accessories,” Audrey explains. “Enable Location Services, Find iPhone, and make sure you’ve changed all three [she’s referring to Find my iPhone, Find my Network, and Send Last Location].”

This process requires the user to log in to another iOS device with an Apple ID and then remotely control the stolen iPhone settings from the secondary device for this method to work.

Katrina continues: “It allows you to find your phone even when it’s switched off or in airplane mode. “Whoever stole my phone last night spent the whole night outside.” He then shows a screenshot of a map of Chicago showing the trajectory of his phone through a series of tracked steps.

“Look what they did in the city of Chicago,” he says. “South Side, North Side, they went back to Gurney, Illinois. That’s the address they’re at, nice little place, isn’t it? The TikToker then shared a photo of the man allegedly holding her stolen iPhone.

Katrina called the Gurney Police Department and gave the home’s address. He says the police went to the house and took his phone.

The The FCC reports 68% of phone theft victims are ultimately unable to recover their stolen devices. The agency writes that “the reality is that whether your smartphone is white, black or gold, it is now worth almost 30 times more per ounce than a block of solid silver and is almost as easy to turn into cash with discretion.”

Despite Katrina’s advice, many TikTokers have expressed difficulty in recovering stolen phones and items from local police departments. The comments section was full of criticism of the job, or rather the lack thereof, of the authorities in recovering these stolen items.

“I doubt the police will actually listen and go to the location,” said one user. “The police immediately told me, ‘and?’ When I said where is my phone.”

“It’s wild because when I called the police in San Francisco and told them I knew exactly where the house was, they said they treated it as a loss,” another posted.

“It’s nice to have the police department helping out,” offered a third. “When I was watching my husband’s iPhone, the police took us out of the neighborhood because it was dangerous.”

One user said they are taking matters into their own hands, skipping any bureaucratic steps. “This just happened to my phone a week ago,” they wrote. “But I didn’t call the cops, I just rolled over the house.”

Some people were a little confused with Katrina’s TikTok because she went through the step-by-step directions pretty quickly. Commenters came to the rescue.

“Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Control Center & USB OFF, Privacy > Location services ON, then Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone ALL ON,” wrote one user.

“Use someone else’s phone and sign in to your Apple ID in find my iphone and then all your Apple devices will be listed,” noted another.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Katrina on TikTok for further comment.

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*First published: August 7, 2022, 3:50 PM CDT

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering people interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based research, current events, and the facts surrounding these stories to create your average viral post.

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