Student makes documentary after spying on thief who stole his smartphone

From stealing iPhone to HTC, the documentary shows how one can track a smartphone thief.

It is a fact that we cannot even move from one room to another without our smartphone. Nowadays, smartphones have become a symbol of status and luxury due to their overwhelmingly high prices and remarkable specs. So how would you feel if your pricey smartphone, which you really cannot afford to lose, gets stolen just like that? Obviously, you will feel perplexed, angry and empty-handed.

Usually, when people get their phones stolen, they try to find it through apps but then eventually give up. But film student Anthony van der Meer wasn’t one of those who give up without a fight. When he had his precious iPhone stolen, he was naturally disturbed as he was worried about his data being exposed to a complete stranger.

Read: Apple’s “Find My iPhone” Saves a Life!

While having lunch somewhere in Amsterdam, van der Meer’s iPhone vanished, which took him by surprise. Although iPhones already come with the Find My iPhone app, which helps users locate their device in the case of a theft or misplacement but in this particular situation, even the app couldn’t help the victim. The reason was that the thief disconnected the phone from the internet and also threw away its SIM card. Therefore, there was no way to track the phone’s whereabouts.

Then Anthony started wondering, why do people steal mobile phones? What actually happens to these stolen phones? How do these criminals use these phones without alerting the original owner?

These questions started circulating in his mind and finally he decided that he won’t give up and will try to find out. To get his answers, he deliberately got another of his phone stolen. The phone he used was an HTC One. The reason behind choosing an HTC instead of an iPhone was that he couldn’t run anti-theft spyware on iPhone but on HTC models he could. Therefore, he was able to arm the phone with a hidden spyware app called Cerberus.

“After my phone got stolen, I quickly realized just how much of my personal information and data the thief had instantly obtained. So, I let another phone get stolen. This time my phone was pre-programmed with spyware, so I could keep tabs on the thief in order to get to know him,” informs Van Der Meer.

Anthony van der Meer then followed the thief and remotely tracked as well as controlled his phone. He was able to identify when his phone was turned on and when it was connected to the internet along with listening to the calls made by the thief, reading his text messages, capturing images and recording audio/video. The thief didn’t suspect anything, thanks to the technological superiority of the spyware Anthony had installed.

Read: Teen Tracking Lost Phone Using App Shot Dead

The collected footages and data were then used by van der Meer to create a thrilling and captivating 22-minute long documentary. The documentary showcases everything that Anthony van der Meer recorded about the thief’s activities and also describes how easy it was to spy upon an individual. The documentary has gained immense popularity and already around 1.7 million people have watched it.

Read: MugShot Program Provides You Picture of Culprit Trying to Hack You

To enable Find my iPhone you need to: Go to the Settings > Tap on iCloud > Sign into your Apple account and now, turn on Find My iPhone while on Android, users can Android Device Manager. Using this feature, one can locate their phones in case they go missing.

More info: anthonyvdmeer.nl

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Written by Carolina

Carolina works for HackRead as a technical writer. She is a Brazilian traveller who has been to almost every country around the world. She has a keen interest in technology, gadgets and social media.