Remote data erase?

is there any possible way to do a remote data erase or even factory reset on a lost FP4? lost mine earlier today, and it’s sim card has been taken out which is a pretty good sign that there’s no intention to be handed in by whoever found it. quite gutted. but for now just hoping to find out any conceivable ways to wipe sensitive data (of which there was a lot…)

on another note, any chance anyone’s currently/in the near future looking to find a new pair of hands to look after their old phone?

Welcome to the forum.

There is an option if the phone was registered with some weird Google account and of course there are apps that can wipe the phone remotely but I imagine neither of those are options or you wouldn’t be asking.

Someone may have some idea, other than

Did you have a lock mechanism, fingerprint etc. that should block any easy access?
Did you have an SD card formatted as Portable without encryption? Internally formatted SD cards are not recommended for a variety of reasons, one being they are encrypted with the phone.

Your network can block the IMEI numbers which I think are with the packaging or ask Fairphone to provide, once you’d ID’d yourself. Hopefully you have reported it to the police etc.

Although the phone can be sold and reset it will still have the same IMEI numbers and can be traced, in theory, if it used.

Sad to hear of your situation

MDM could mitigate this. But its too late for that. Was the smartphone on? Do you have IMEI? Report it to the police and to Fairphone as stolen.

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Assuming you logged into a Google account on your Fairphone, you might be able to remote wipe using the instructions on Find, lock, or erase a lost Android device - Google Account Help.

However, if it is really stolen there’s a pretty big chance the thief will factory reset the device itself to be able to resell it without you being able to remotely lock and wipe it (as the Google account will be removed).

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thank you, @amoun!
you are correct in imagining that the first two mentioned options are actually not options at all, at least in this instance.

no lock function was set, everything was out in the open except for the bank and paypal app. always been the type for such things as locking. there’s never really been much possibility to lose such a thing before… (there’s quite possibly never been such a wild day before! anyone else still spinning from that full moon just passed? if you’re in the right area at least. what a confusing day)

with that said, the phone’s current carer seems perhaps to have taken this in kind; after spending a few hours changing various different things just in case, there seems to be no sign of any online activity at all; so it may very well have been formatted indeed.
(although it was perhaps a poor choice of words to say there was a lot of sensitive data; when writing, was mainly grieving the loss of all the personal but not so much sensitive data, while thinking also about the sensitive data that is on there… there’s some, but nothing too bad. got the two confused, though)

the sd card was chosen as file transfer rather than internal storage. as far as i could tell (previous phone’s OS limit was android 7, so a little behind on these things), the only difference was internal formatted it and thus wiping all previously written data. very undesirable; so portable it was.

super amazing to know about the IMEI numbers! pretty sure the packaging is around here somewhere…
hadn’t actually reported it to the police, hadn’t considered it after everything happening in such a strange day, but wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so anyway, thus far. a good idea! many thanks. will get in touch with them when someone with a phone to borrow wakes

thank you for your compassion. it can be nice to have a bit of a cry from time to time. it’ll be okay in the end though, i guess. Life always brings what is needed, one way or another.
incredibly grateful for your super detailed and helpful response

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it was on when lost, yes. it would probably have continued to be on for at least another 24h, maybe even 48, if left untouched. should be able to get IMEI if it is indeed on packaging.
wasn’t aware it could be reported to Fairphone, will certainly do so!
many thanks, kind friend

the find/lock/erase option wouldn’t have been possible, as it didn’t fit requirements that come with that function. but if they have indeed factory reset (which seems likely so far), that’s just as good as a remote wipe!
thank you for taking the time to try and help!

@JeroenH not entirely sure if this will tag both of you, seemingly can’t make a message that’s in reply to multiple messages; but IMEI1 and IMEI2 are both available! guessing these are what you’re both referring to? how might one use these in this instance?

edit: got in contact with the network provider for the sim; they’re currently out of office but they’ll respond probably in the morning. is there perhaps any other needed information or action etc.?
also, what happens when the provider blocks the numbers?

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If the network provider are sure you are the owner they they can block the EMEI numbers, you may want a police re[port to show you have lost it.

The ID is because anyone could block another’s EMEI

I have my phone locked just to keep other peoples numbers, email addresses etc. and pictures of them from exposure.

Yeah, that worked.

You want to report both IMEI1 and IMEI2 to the police, also if you have the original bill of you purchasing the device that can help police as well. Then these IMEI will get blacklisted. I am not sure if its nationally or also internationally but we can be sure there’s countries who /care (same w/cars, bikes, …). In The Netherlands buyers can verify if an IMEI is stolen.

Do the same with Fairphone because they track such, and every every blacklisted IMEI will not be able to be sold via this website.

The network provider needs to block your SIM ASAP so that it does not get used for nefarious activities (if it does not come with a SIM lock, tho if it does have one and its easy to guess its useless, too). The provider can also cooperate with police to figure where the device was put off, where it has been since it was stolen.

If you used full disk encryption (your device was ‘encrypted’ and you use a strong password then your data should be secure. It requires a lot of skill still to hack a smartphone which runs, the bad news is its possible (if not now, then in a while) but in order to do that they must keep the device charged on (professional thieves and forensics use a Faraday bag to achieve such). Either way you might wanna contact your close family/friends about this issue that they might get contacted by someone impersonating you. Esp elder people.

The provider blocks your SIM, not your number. They will detach your number from your SIM. They’ll send you a new SIM ASAP (might cost you a few EUR, it differs). If they don’t offer it you should request it.

Good luck!

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And any new user will not benefit from the warranty, in fact if they try, after unkowing buying a misappropriated phone, they will soon find out.

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Yeah in theory Fairphone could even report it to police, and police could ask Fairphone for IP address. But that kind of stuff usually goes slow.

trying to manage everything r.e. contacting network providers across various points of yesterday, seems likely that it will be doable today (strong network issues in this place lately but intending to go to the library soon when it opens)

went to the police yesterday to talk to them about it; although not entirely sure if they took both numbers as i’d simply handed the box over and they read it themself. with that said, there’s still been no email with details of the report coming through, so intending to get in touch later today and call up anyway; can ask to make sure that both numbers were indeed taken down.
also sent a message to the FP team within the last hour, so can definitely pursue that too.

trying to figure everything out with the network provider, yes. it’s been tricky so far due to severe network issues, and they can’t go just by a few scarce emails, they need it to be a live chat in order to do something like block the numbers or block old+order new sim etc., but this seems like something that will be fixed later today, when the library can open

@amoun @JeroenH you’re both superstars, thank you for breathing

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TLDR: would a police report be sufficient proof to unblock the IMEI numbers again?

@amoun @JeroenH okay, so, contact has been made with Fairphone support explaining the situation. there’s currently some kind of obstacle to logging into the support page (something about cookies needing to be allowed, even though they already are…), but that is expected to be resolved soon, and can proceed

contact has also been made with the network provider. but there’s also an issue with that, they’re currently trying to figure out if the police report with the IMEI numbers would be suitable proof of ownership of the phone, in case it’s ever returned back to these hands, to unblock the numbers again. (the purchase receipt was from an ebay reseller, that doesn’t include the IMEI numbers, thus even though they were sent a photo of the phone box containing numbers, there’s not enough proof of ownership without a link between the box and receipt). they’re a small company, which might be why it’s taking quite a while for them to find the answer for certain.

The police report is generally seen as a reliable option as not many people would report something stolen if it wasn’t theirs.

Try contacting the seller for the original receipt.

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