My iPhone was stolen 2 months ago and now someone is trying to blackmail me by the photos I had on the phone. I had a 4 digit home screen lock password and I activated Find my iPhone just after they stole it and I also activated the erase my iPhone option a couple of days later. I received an email from Apple once saying that "erasing iPhone has started".

The blackmailer has been sending me messages and photos which I only had on that phone and he also sent me a photo of my camera roll and home screen with a date and time matching the time he sent it (it seems like he took the photo just when he was texting me so I'm pretty sure he is not bluffing).

How do they have access to my photos? Is it possible that 'Lost Mode' and 'Erase iPhone' aren't working? He keeps asking for my Apple ID password even though it seems he already has access to the phone. What do you think is going on?

  • 2
    I'm guessing you're the same person who posted this? If so you should edit the original question to include the additional info (or delete the original question). Either way, neither question makes it clear whether your know the blackmailer? This is important as it can totally change the potential of how they may have accessed your photos. And, although not relevant to how they accessed your photos, you should most definitely report this to the police!
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 10, 2017 at 23:50
  • I tried deleting the previous question but i couldnt because i asked that as a guest ( i hadnt signed up ) . I DO NOT know the blackmailer and I have reported this but it seems like he is out of the country so they cannot trace him.,I just want to know if the lost mode and erase iphone are working ( as I said I have recieved confirmation emails regarding this from apple) and if yes how is he able to preview my camera roll and send me the original photos??!
    – user233573
    Apr 11, 2017 at 0:05

2 Answers 2


Question 1

Yes, the Find My iPhone service is working along with its various actions (e.g. Lost Mode, Erase iPhone, etc).

Question 2

This leaves us with how they accessed your data and what may have happened in your case. No-one can give you an absolutely 100% certain answer and in that sense this question could be judged as too broad or opinion-based to even be on topic for this site.

However, in your question you state:

i have activated find my iphone just after they stole it and I have also activated the erase my iphone option a couple of days later.

Note the words I have bolded? It's not clear what just after means - that coud be in the order of mins, hours or more. And clearly, it's a couple of days after this point that you actioned the erasure of your iPhone.

So, presumably this person certainly had time to access your camera roll before the phone was erased.

Now, the more difficult part to explain is the fact you had a 4 digit passcode on your iPhone. I see the following possibilities:

  • The easiest possibility is that the iPhone was unlocked when they acquired it and they proceeded to change the Auto-Lock settings to never in order to access the data in the immediate short-term.
  • They already knew your passcode (i.e. they had seen you enter it; they do actually know you; they're in cahoots with someone you know; you previously fell victim to a phishing scam or similar; they obtained it somehow from someone you know, such as a child; etc).
  • Your passcode is something that wasn't hard to guess (e.g. you use it elsewhere, it's a D.O.B., etc).

Obviously from your comments, the person sending you the texts is unknown to you - but this does not eliminate the possibility that they know of you (either through a mutual friend/colleague/etc or because they've accessed some info from other sources). And if they are strongly motivated the perpetrator may have the time, budget, and equipment necessary to try and crack your 4 digit passcode. However, this is extremely unlikely - I would almost say impossible.

This is where it becomes extremely difficult for anyone to answer your second question. In this sense it is too broad as we just don't have all the necessary info, but I suspect the answer lies in the bullet points above.


There are apps on desktops that one can use to connect to the phone while in airplane mode where you can see and copy everything without a passcode.

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info such as listing one or more of the apps you're referring to? If possible, also provide a link. For future reference you can read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 24, 2017 at 11:38

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