One of the worst things that can happen to anyone who has an iPhone is to have their iPhone stolen. It is traumatic not only on the personal side (with the loss of data, photos, messages), but also on the financial side, since Apple devices are very expensive in Brazil.
In recent years, much has evolved to make this type of event a little less damaging. ICloud brought good advances both in the possibility of easily recovering data, photos, contacts and messages from the backup, as well as with the Activation Lock, which does not allow you to restore the stolen device without the iCloud password.
This lock is the strength of iOS security and has even reduced the number of iPhone thefts in some places. But in Brazil, thieves are quite creative and are able to devise ways to deceive the victim by making them provide the iCloud password without even realizing it.
Check out in this article some cases of users who have been deceived and learn how criminals create fake pages to trick innocent people.
I’ve been robbed. What to do?
When an iPhone is stolen, the common procedure is to access your iCloud account, search for the registered device and activate the Lost Mode in him. If it is connected to the internet, a map will be able to locate it. If it is turned off, it cannot be located, and the thieves know this very well.
With Lost Mode, the device is locked with a password and only with it can it be unlocked. If the criminal tries to restore the device (that is, erase everything in it and install a new system), it will be blocked on the activation screen, only being able to unlock with the iCloud password of the original owner.
While the device is registered with iCloud, there is no way to access the data on it, nor activate it for someone else to use.
iPhone disappearing from iCloud
From time to time, we receive reports from users complaining that their iPhones simply disappeared from iCloud, suddenly, after they have been stolen. But in almost all cases, it was the user himself who ended up providing the data to criminals, without knowing it.
To get the iCloud password, rascals often use social engineering to trick users in a moment of fragility after the theft. This was the case with our reader Victor, who recently had his iPhone stolen. After placing the device in Lost Mode on iCloud, he received two SMS and an email from Apple, saying his device had been located. The problem is that it was not Apple who sent these notices, but the thieves, pointing to fake addresses.
In addition to the Portuguese errors, note that the address, despite containing the word “apple“, It is totally different from the company’s official website. It leads to a fake page, which makes the user more distracted informing their passwords, in an attempt to know where the device is. Even the most experienced are susceptible to error, since it is a moment of fragility, as explained at the beginning of this text.
This type of scam was already reported by the iPhone Blog last year.
In the case of Victor, he ended up getting carried away by the false messages and without knowingly provided his data to the bandits, who hours later accessed the account and unlinked her iPhone. In this case, there is nothing else to do.
Another case is that of our reader Thiago, who came to us at the end of the last week, reporting what happened to him and his wife.
My wife was mugged and had her iPhone 5c stolen. At the headlight, stopped with the car, the burglar took the iPhone that was on a support placed on the windshield, was surprised by the speed of the burglar who reached through the glass and took his iPhone. She immediately called me from the company’s cell phone and asked to lock the iPhone and try to locate it using the Find My iPhone application.
I accessed the app with her Apple ID and the iPhone was already turned off. I immediately switched to lost mode by setting a 6-digit password and entering my number so that I could have a chance to recover the iPhone. This happened yesterday around 18:00.
To my surprise, when I tried to access the Search iPhone again at 11:30 pm, I was unable to access it and received an invalid password or ID notification. When accessing the secondary email created for the recovery, I accessed the link to reset, created the password and confirmed 2 account security questions. Upon returning to the Search iPhone application, the iPhone 5c was no longer on the account’s device list, think about the sadness I felt at this moment in knowing that the Apple iD was accessed, I’m not a layman on the subject and I know the iPhone’s functions deeply and knew that what happened was practically impossible to happen.
Checking the account emails, at 22:01 I received the message from Apple that the iPhone went into lost mode and that the device was locked, at 10:14 pm another email from find my phone saying that the iPhone search was disabled . Can you understand the seriousness of what happened? How did someone access the locked iPhone with a 6-digit password, and was able to reset my password and enter the password on the device to unlock the iPhone?
Thiago says he didn’t receive any strange SMS or email, accessing the account only through the native iOS application, until the password was no longer valid.
But Thiago later admitted that the device was without any lock password at the time of the theft and this allowed thieves easy access to the system. With everything cleared, any subsequent attempt to block or contact by iCloud becomes completely useless, as it is enough to disconnect the device from the account so the cloud can no longer access it. At this time there is no more possibility to recover the stolen iPhone.
If you have had your iPhone stolen / stolen / lost, the first thing to do is access your account on the iCloud page and block the missing device in the section Search My iPhone.
Keep in mind that if you change your iCloud password at this point, your lost device will instantly lose connection to it and will no longer have a chance to be found by the cloud. It will remain locked to your account, but the old password in which it is configured will not allow it to connect to iCloud anymore, unless it is changed on the device. The same thing happens if you choose the “Delete iPhone” option in iCloud, which erases everything on your device and leaves it locked on the activation screen until someone enters the owner’s iCloud password. They can be two solutions if you do not want criminals to have access to your information.
Always take much be careful with messages you receive about this device. Only trust links that lead to the domain *.apple.com/ and check ever that the site has the SSL connection lock (starting with https: //). Apple will never send you to an unencrypted page, or to sites with bizarre names and strange domains.
If you had your device stolen and someone was able to access your account to unlink your device, then yes, what you should do is immediately change your password and security questions. Also change the passwords for other internet accounts used on the device, such as email, Facebook or Twitter.
One way to prevent strangers from accessing your account is to enable Two-Step Verification. As a result, even if someone gets your account password, they will not be able to access it because a verification code is sent to a device that you trust.
Take all possible precautions with your device. The more we make life difficult for criminals, the less incentive we will give to iPhone thefts. Of course, this will not end criminals’ interest in Apple devices, but it may help to diminish.