How to Find a Cell Phone's Owner

Updated March 23, 2017

It can be a devastating experience to lose your cell phone. It contains your private information, phone numbers and, in some cases, irreplaceable files. If you find someone's cell phone, do the right thing---locate the rightful owner and get it back to him as soon as possible. There are a few steps you can take to find the owner of a cell phone---you can either try to contact the owner directly or call his cell phone company.

Search through the cell phone's address book and look for a number that says "Home," "Mom," "Dad," or something similar. Look for the last number dialled, as this may also be a reliable person to contact. Call that number to try to get in touch with the owner of the cell phone.

Answer the phone if it is still activated and someone calls as an alternative to calling the owner's contacts. Explain that you found the phone and that you are trying to return it to its rightful owner. Tell the person to contact you on the owner's cell phone number if you are not comfortable with giving out your own.

Arrange to meet the cell phone's owner at a neutral location with plenty of people around, such as a coffee shop or supermarket.

Call another phone that has caller ID to identify the phone number. You can also click on "Options," "Preferences" or a similar menu then find "My Number" or a similar option. The number may also be listed under the phone's address book. Check the "Network" section under "Options" as well to see if the cell phone provider's name is listed. This is unnecessary if the provider's name is listed on the device itself.

Do a reverse cell phone lookup on a site like using the cell phone number to see if you can find the owner's contact information, or at the very least the name of the carrier if you still don't have this information. You can also do a search for the cell phone number in a standard search engine, like Google or Yahoo! to see if information pops up about the owner or provider.

Call the cell phone provider's 800 number and tell the representative that you found someone's cell phone. Give the phone number and open the back of the cell phone to read out the ESN, IMEI or other identifying number regarding the phone. The representative will get in touch with the owner and give you instructions on how to return it.


Take note of the time and date that the last call was received. If it was within the last hour, the cell phone's owner may still be at or near the location where you found it. Some cell phones have a section under "Options" that allows the cell phone owner to type in his name, address, and an alternate phone number in case it gets lost or stolen. Check under "Options" to see if there is an "Owner Information" section.

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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.