Increase chances of your lost phone being returned

If you’ve never lost your phone then you at least know someone who did. If you’re like most smartphone users who store valuable information in their smartphones, losing a phone can be devastating.

A good practice would be to keep a regular backup of your phone’s data – it is recommended that you do this whenever you’ve made any major changes to your phone; like when you take rare pictures, or when you receive text messages that you intend to use for reference at a later date.

A close friend once used to transfer sensitive company information to his phone so that he could read them at the comfort of his home or even try to beat deadlines by working extra before retiring to bed in the evenings.

find lost phone

Clearly his intentions were noble but his naivety would later cost him his job when he lost his phone on his way home and in his frantic search for it, he unwittingly happened to mention this misfortune to his department manager the next day at work.

Since duplication of data is considered a breach of company policy, he was dismissed from work and had to endure the pain of losing a job he had given so much for beside losing his phone. I felt terrible for him.

Of course this is not an isolated case, many people have been victims of similar circumstances. I understand that getting a new smartphone can be very tempting, but the unspoken rule dictates that you should never buy a phone you can’t afford to lose.
That said, I’m going to share with you the best statements you can add to your phone’s lock screen to increase the chances of it being returned back to you when you lose it.
find lost phone
First, I have to point out that in choosing what to write you have to be careful not to offend whoever finds your phone. Statements like “I don’t know who you are but I will find you and I will kill you” will definitely get you nowhere, if not land you in trouble with the authorities.
I have not arranged them in any order so experiment with a few by asking the people in your life which among them they find most compelled by to return a phone if lost.
  • Thank you for finding my phone. Please answer when I call. A good number of people would receive your call and agree to give it back. But this would not work in every neighborhood.
  • Have you ever seen the TV show What Would You Do? Smile, you’re on it. This is both funny and charming. But not everyone has a good sense of humor
  • Do The Right Thing. This will depend on the character and mood of the person who will find your phone. If they’re honest they will return it back to you.
  • Get yourself a translucent case. In the back put a large denomination bill that has been cut in unequal parts. Put the smaller part inside, along with a note: If you find this phone and return it, you get the other part of the bill, too. Thank you.
    find lost phone
  • Hello. You would make a bad day a little better if you would help my phone make it back to me. Thank you. Try this along with your contact information, you just might get your phone back.
  • Put a picture of your baby as the background. Research shows, people with a photo of a baby in their dropped wallet are six times more likely to get it returned. This would probably work for your phone too.
  • Reward if found, call (insert your other contacts).  This is the simplest of them all and probably the most effective. You don’t say what the reward is and the ambiguity of the reward will make the finder curious and it will only be a matter of hours before they call you.

Remotely Control Lost Phone

find lost phone

If you store sensitive data on your mobile phone, writing a fancy please-return-to-me message may not be the only tool you want to be relying upon to get your lost phone back. There’s an option that allows you to control your phone remotely.

Install an app called Prey Anti Theft – for android users or Prey for iPhone and if you lose your phone or it gets stolen, all you have to do is send an SMS command to your phone to activate this app.

Prey will silently take control of your phone, particularly the Camera, GPS, and WiFi, it takes pictures silently using the front camera and sends them along with your phone’s GPS location to your email address every few minutes.

Some cloud-based apps will also allow you to invoke the remote wipe feature which will clear all data from your phone so that even if you won’t get it back, the people who have your phone may not be able to use your information to your detriment.

You should always back up your phone to cloud so that you can restore all your data once you acquire a new one.


In some cases, nothing you write will change the outcome of whether your phone will be returned back to you or not. Most times it comes down to the character of the individual who finds it. I want to believe that a majority of people will do the right thing and return property they find back to their owners but I also understand that we’re not all the same.
Treat others as you would have them treat you should be the guiding principle for every human. Have you ever lost a phone you valued highly? Did you get it back? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.