Recently, I read a great story in The Huffington Post about a guy who left his iPhone in a cab.
Briefly, here is what happened: Nadav Nirenberg, a young man, left his phone in a New York City taxi. When he realized it was gone, he called his missing smartphone repeatedly. It was never answered, but he noticed that his online dating account had been taken over – quite obviously – by whomever had found his phone. This individual was interacting with women on the OKCupid dating site, posing as Nadav and posting uncool stuff.
So being a clever chap Nadav created a fake female account on OKCupid and enticed the imposter that took his phone to come to his apartment for a “date.” Read the article in The Huffington Post to full story on how Nadav got his iPhone back.
iPad found on a cross-country flight
Nirenberg’s story reminded me of my friend Jen Burns, a former Trend Micro colleague, who found an iPad on a Delta Airlines cross-country flight from California to Washington, D.C., squeezed between her seat and plane wall. She debated what she should do:
A) turn the device into the airlines or B) open the device to see if she could figure out whose iPad it was and return it.
With her background in security, Jen figured it would be better to return iPad personally to the owner, rather than risk giving it to the airline personnel and having it disappear somewhere. Of course, Plan B was contingent on her ability to access information on the iPad. It turned out that the iPad owner was not a Fearless Web fan because the device was NOT password protected. In this case, it was fortunate, because Jen was able to open the iPad to learn the owner’s name (let’s call her Claire) and her and her husband’s email addresses.
Immediately, Jen emailed the couple to inform them that she had their lost iPad and would send it to them when she returned from vacationing in a few days. They were delighted to hear from Jen and grateful she offered to return the iPad to them. They were quite relieved because of the photos that were on the iPad of their two-year-old that hadn’t been backed up to another machine or to a cloud storage service like Trend Micro™ SafeSync.
A threat to file a police report
So Jen carried on with her vacation, happy that she’d done the right thing. However, a couple of days later, while she was still on vacation, Jen checked her phone to find four voicemail messages – each more “excited” than the previous one from Claire and her husband demanding that the iPad needed to be returned. The final call in the series contained a threat to file a police report on Jen.
Jen calmly dealt with Claire’s husband’s paranoia and got the couple’s address. Luckily, they lived in Minneapolis, near the airport where Jen would be stopping on her flight home. So they made a plan for Jen to drop the iPad off at the Delta desk in the airport while she was in Minnesota. There Claire and her hubby could pick up the Apple device with their precious baby pictures on it.
Everything went according to plan until Jen got back home to California and another angry voicemail, saying that the iPad was not at the Delta desk. Jen called back and assured them that it was there. Then she took the opportunity to register her displeasure with them: “I was a little concerned to hear another angry voicemail. After all, I did contact you to get your iPad back to you…”
Claire’s husband apologized and a short time later, Jen got a text message from Claire saying that Delta had found the iPad. Claire asked for Jen’s mailing address so she could send her something nice as a thank you. Jen politely declined.
Moral of the story?
It’s tempting to say the moral of this story is: No good deed goes unpunished comes to mind… However, let’s be positive and say the lesson is: If you lose something and someone bends over backwards to get it back to you, don’t be a jerk…Oh, yeah, and always password protect your mobile devices and affix a label or business card to them to help Good Samaritans return them to you, should they ever get lost.
I work for Trend Micro and the opinions expressed here are my own.