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I got my iPhone 6 stolen in Brazil a few weeks ago. It had a pass-code and 2 factor authentication.

Unfortunately the pass-code was set to only be required every 4 hours so if the thief kept the phone unlocked every now and again we could assume he/she has access to it. The phone was also in air-plane mode when it was stolen.

I immediately used a friends phone to access my iCloud and set up the "erase" option when the phone connected to the internet. I changed my apple password and informed my network provider.

I just got an email saying that "Activation Lock is requesting your password". On iCloud it still stated "erase pending" and that it will happen when the phone next connects to the internet.

Surely the activation lock request means the iPhone had to connect to the internet?? Why didn't it start erasing itself??

I've now changed it to lost mode to see if that does anything but it says "lost mode pending" and it will activate when the iPhone is connected to the internet.

I was just wondering how i got the activation lock email? And for a stolen iPhone, which mode is best... erase mode or lost mode??

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I would take extreme care not to enter your current or former Apple-ID passwords anywhere when following any kinds of directions from emails. The email you have received might well be a fake email sent by the people holding your phone, trying to trick you into giving them your Apple-ID password.

In general, they can do very little with a phone that has been activation locked. However if the phone is unlocked, they can find your e-email address and try to scam you into giving them the code.

Depending on their technical abilities, they might also have put the phone on a restricted network, where the commands to erase it cannot reach it, but where it can reach other destinations on the Internet.

  • oooh thats interesting. If you see my comment above though I'm certain it's a genuine email. There's no attempt to phish and all links I've checked and go to apple website. – user3894741 Jan 13 at 13:19
  • I explained that scenario in my answer (restricted network), it is however not explained in the other answer above that you've commented, so that's probably why you didn't see it? – jksoegaard Jan 13 at 13:23
  • ahh i see the restricted network. So hopefully the activation lock holds up. I guess there's not really anything else I can do. I've read that I can give my serial number to the police or something? have you ever heard of that at all? – user3894741 Jan 14 at 13:56
  • Yes, of course - that would be one of the first things to do - report it stolen! Also contact your telco to report it stolen. – jksoegaard Jan 14 at 17:25
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I just got an email saying that "Activation Lock is requesting your password". On iCloud it still stated "erase pending" and that it will happen when the phone next connects to the internet.

The email could have been a scam if the iPhone was unlocked as they could have viewed your email. After you submitted the erase iPhone request.

The iPhone needs to have internet to receive the command to erase itself and if it is still in airplane mode it can't receive it. You got the email as when you submitted the request I assume you were connected to the internet.

I've now changed it to lost mode to see if that does anything but it says "lost mode pending" and it will activate when the iPhone is connected to the internet.

This is most likely the same scenario, it is in airplane mode and can't receive the command.

I was just wondering how i got the activation lock email? And for a stolen iPhone, which mode is best... erase mode or lost mode??

Lost mode is best as you can display an alternative phone number where people can contact if they find your phone.

If you ever misplace your device—whether it’s lost or you think it might have been stolen—you should put it into Lost Mode immediately with Find My iPhone.

Lost Mode locks your screen with a passcode and lets you display a custom message with your phone number to help you get it back. You can also remotely erase your device if needed, and your custom message continues to display even after the device is erased.

While Activation Lock works in the background to make it more difficult for someone to use or sell your missing device, Lost Mode clearly indicates to anyone who finds your device that it still belongs to you and can’t be reactivated without your password.

  • Thanks for your reply. Very helpful! I am certain the email is genuine. It was sent from an no-reply@apple.com and all the links go to apple.com. There is one link to change the password which goes to support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201487 Obviously I'm not changing my password through this link, just in case. I feel this email is genuine which makes me wonder how it was managed to be sent? also just to clarify the timeline... i sent the erase request mid December and i got the activation lock email at the beginning of January. – user3894741 Jan 13 at 13:15
  • @user3894741 Just a note that the “from” address of an email is easily spoofed. – Steve Jan 16 at 19:34
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This is what Activation Lock does. The thief has to sign in w your credentials in order to open & use your iPhone. As you see ...you have to leave it on and make yr iPhone useless. enter image description here

  • Oh and contact Apple support for for declaring your iPhone status == stolen & police 👮‍♀️ too. – user312912 Jan 16 at 16:26

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