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Phone stolen... and returned!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
My phone (a fairly standard Samsung) was stolen a few weeks ago. Three hours after it was gone, my network blocked the SIM and IMEI. Then the phone mysteriously turned up a few days later.

I want to go back to using it as I much prefer it to the phone I've been borrowing. But I was wondering... could it have been tampered with in any way, could the person that took it have put anything on there to intercept messages or anything? Sounds like a paranoid question but I just wanted to be sure... I already feel violated enough that they've probably read all the messages that were on there :(

Cheers!

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you know the people who took it?

    If so have you got a right to be parnanoid as in you think they would and have the skills to intercept calls and messages to your phone?

    If you answer both of those questions with a yes.

    I would certainly buy a new phone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really know the guy but he doesn't seem like an organised criminal or anything. He was drunk and opportunistic I think. I'd like to use my old phone if possible, but if it's quite easy to interfere with it in a way that could go against my privacy, I'll have to keep using a phone that I don't really like.

    Anyone know about this stuff?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know how wire-tapping works but it is a perfectly valid question. I would feel the same if I had a stolen phone returned to me. By saying that you don't really know the guy, does it mean that you are aquainted with him? Or did you not know him in the slightest? Was it the same person who returned it?

    If you want to keep the phone, your best bet is to flash the firmware. The method varies between every phone, but it's generally done through the software that came with your phone.

    Failing that, stick the phone on eBay then use your proceeds towards a new phone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think it's very easy to do, you would either need some good technical skills or to know the right people. If you reset your phone to manufacturers defaults it should clear any potential malware that is installaed and running in the background, but even that is unlikely.

    But as monserrat says if you can't be sure and it is worrying you the best thing to do is sell it on eBay :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have the phone software flashed; job done. Unless he's gone to the hassle of IMEI cloning, but I'd not worry about it. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks guys! Your replies are appreciated!

    How do you have phone software "flashed"? I've just done a Master Reset of all my settings etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A master reset will reset it to it's newly flashed state so it should be the same. This is just my limited experience talking from flashing my own phone fairly regularly though.

    I would have thought that would be enough.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A master reset will only erase settings made by the user. Overwriting the firmware will replace the code inside the phone, which should remove anything bad. Theoretically you could modify firmware to hide badness, which would not be removed during a factory reset or similar.

    Chances are they've not gone to the bother, so I'd not worry about it. :)

    ETA - anywhere that unlocks phones should be able to flash it, if it does concern you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Id report the stupid git to the police for theft.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Click to see more. I will have a look out and maybe ask around. Is it too complicated for me to do myself?

    And MrG - trust me, I really wanted to, but my family have encouraged me not to.
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