Help me find the owner of this broken screen Galaxy Centura
January 18, 2014 6:21 PM   Subscribe

While snowmobiling today, my group found a TracFone Galaxy Centura on the trail. It had been run over. The screen is shattered; there are no visible images, but it does get brighter if you tap one of the capacitive buttons. The phone occasionally rings or sounds what are probably text message alerts, I tried randomly swiping while it was ringing but have not succeeded in answering it. I tried plugging it into my laptop with a USB cable, but it does not detect. What else can I try to figure out who this belongs to? I already posted it on a local snowmobiling message board.
posted by superna to Technology (5 answers total)
Update: my laptop suddenly detected the phone. There are no photos, are there any other files I could look for?
posted by superna at 6:32 PM on January 18, 2014

Can you pop open the back and have a look at the information printed under the battery? That's what I do when I find cell phones, and then I relay that info to the toll-free customer service for the carrier. Not sure how that works with prepay phones, though.
posted by elizardbits at 6:33 PM on January 18, 2014

Newer TracFones have a SIM card. Can you get the serial number off of that and contact TracFone? If the owner added minutes with an account, they should be able to track it back. Or if not the SIM then definitely the IMEI like elizardbits said.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:41 PM on January 18, 2014

Start visiting sales outlets for different cell providers. Usually there are only a handful in each market, and they'll be able to tell if the phone is on their network. If so, they can get it back to the owner.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:59 PM on January 18, 2014

Update: I contacted TracPhone and asked the rep if he could look up the user based on the serial number and let them know I had their phone, he told me there was no way for him to do that. But he did take the serial number from me and try to do something, so perhaps it is an option in some cases?
posted by superna at 9:55 AM on January 22, 2014

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