Legit site where you type in a number & you get the GPS location
November 2, 2020 8:29 AM   Subscribe

I need to locate someone immediately. In Canada.

Am panicking so idk what I’m seeing. There’s a site called whoeasy.com. They want card details which is fine as long as they’re not scammers.

Senior dad took off the GPS tracker we keep on his key chain, and isn’t answering (which he does even when he doesn’t want to let me know what he’s up to, 99.999999% of the time). Usually if he’s eg on the subway, calls go straight to voicemail. Now I’m getting 4 rings. I called 20 times & he’s not answering.

He gave me a bullshit answer as to where he was last time I talked to him an hour ago, doesn’t want me to find him. But even when that’s the case he still picks up and just gives me a bullshit answer.

It “feels like” -3C today...
posted by cotton dress sock to Technology (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Call the police; they would have the fastest access to where a mobile phone is. Possibly the phone carrier, but I think they will respond better to the police.
posted by theora55 at 8:38 AM on November 2, 2020 [22 favorites]

I understand your distress and I wish there were an easy answer to the exact question you're asking for, but I don't think there will be a legitimate way for you to do this. Law enforcement or other emergency personnel may have the ability to perform a GPS trace on a cellphone, but I suspect there would be a difficult process to go through before they could do it.

Do you have power of attorney / legal guardianship of your father? That might change the above answer a little.

(whoeasy is a 'reverse phone book' search where they search public records and return those that match your search criteria. If your father has registered his phone number publicly somehow (in the US that would likely be voter rolls, for instance), then whoeasy might be able to tell you his home address. Stress the word might. They cannot tell you his exact location this minute.)
posted by dbx at 8:39 AM on November 2, 2020 [10 favorites]

If you’re unable to find his location via his phone, try local hospitals to see if he has been admitted to one.
posted by donut_princess at 8:42 AM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

There is no website which can give you someone's current GPS location using their phone number.

If he has an iPhone and Find My iPhone is enabled and you have access to his account you can access that through the web.
posted by mekily at 8:43 AM on November 2, 2020 [10 favorites]

This is something you need to talk to the police in his area about. This isn't something that you can do legitimately without permission, although there are apps like Glympse where small groups can track each other with permission.
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:44 AM on November 2, 2020

Response by poster: I have POA. He has an android. Thank you everyone
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:44 AM on November 2, 2020

If you have access to his Google account, the find my phone equivalent for android is https://myaccount.google.com/find-your-phone?pli=1. If you are talking to authorities, I found they act faster if you push the (lack of) mental capacity angle and that you have a POA. I had to call the police once when my grandmother with dementia got lost, they were able to locate her fairly quickly. Wishing you and your family the best!
posted by snowysoul at 8:49 AM on November 2, 2020 [13 favorites]

If you don't have his google password but do have his laptop password: if he has a laptop/desktop where he has logged into a google account on chrome, you could find the password there as well. It's in chrome settings, it will ask for a laptop/desktop password first.

If find-your-phone doesn't work, you can log in to google and look at the location history too.
posted by bbqturtle at 8:52 AM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Call the Police. But also maybe try calling him from a few different phones just in case he's just not picking up your calls for whatever reason?
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:13 AM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

There actually were sites that could do this (at least with US phone numbers) until recently when a bunch of bad publicity around the fact that they didn't check credentials to ensure at least some legitimacy to the requests was generated recently.

There were some articles on ArsTechnica about how the carriers were selling location access to these data brokers that listed some of them by name. One or two of them weren't terminated immediately thanks to contractual obligations, so it's not impossible that at least one is still operational. Any other source you find will not be legit.

Checking the location history timeline on whatever Google account the phone was set up with is almost certainly your best bet that doesn't involve the police. It would be unusual for that to not give at least a general vicinity based on WiFi location even if the phone's GPS is disabled.
posted by wierdo at 9:16 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: He’s fine everyone. Thanks. He’s at home. He was walking and didn’t hear the phone. Going to go puke now. Thanks.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:46 AM on November 2, 2020 [64 favorites]

Great news that he is fine. Now that this incident has passed, before the next one, get his Google password so you can track his phone. Prepare now for the eventuality this will happen again. Soon.
posted by AugustWest at 9:50 AM on November 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

Long-term telco professional here.
The police are your only real option, absent a phone tracking app on the device itself.

We can pull all sorts of information, but only with the account holder's permission (depending on the operator's policies), or imminent threat threat to life and limb type situations that the police could justify later in court.
posted by Kreiger at 10:09 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: >absent a phone tracking app on the device itself.

Would you happen to know of a good one? That multiple users could access? He has a Sonim XP3 (pretty much a “dumb” phone but wifi capable, I believe).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:38 AM on November 2, 2020

Are you able to get ahold of your dad's coat on the DL? Assuming he has the wherewithal to actually wear a coat when he leaves the house, maybe you can sneak one of these in the lining. Washable and good for a year. If you need a US addy to have it sent to, Memail me and I'd be happy to help.
posted by dancinglamb at 10:50 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

re: apps, I use Life360 which is available for Android and Iphone, but it doesn't look like your dad's phone will support an app like that. In case his phone situation changes, or other folks come to this thread for resources, I like Life360 because I can set it to automatically alert me every time the people in my circle leave or arrive at specific places, like home/work/doctor. It can be used proactively but also works great passively.

For your dad, the patches dancinglamb added look great! There's also these shoe insoles that might be good for dad.
posted by assenav at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have a Sonim XP3. It's a fantastic phone.

According to my partner (so I'm playing telephone here) -

Since it's based on Android, if you're tech-savvy, you can side-load apps to it. They just need to be apps that are compatible with the fact that the phone doesn't have a touchscreen.
posted by aniola at 12:37 PM on November 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Plain 'ol Google Maps has location sharing, it's not super granular or accurate, but it works very well.
posted by wnissen at 12:41 PM on November 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

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