Last year, we featured a few tech-savvy lost and found services that let consumers label their valuables and recover them if lost or stolen. A recent spotting came in from Singapore, where Bak2u offers various ways of securing expensive gadgets. Bak2u labels have ID numbers and can be stuck on portable devices. Owners register their items on Bak2u’s website, and if an item is found, the finder can call a toll-free number to return the item. As Bak2u says, the service makes it easy for good Samaritans to return expensive gadgets to their owners.* Of course, some finders would rather be keepers than good Samaritans. Which is where Bak2u’s PhoneBak comes in. Launched recently, PhoneBak is stealth software that quietly alerts the owner when a thief turns on a stolen device after inserting his own SIM card. How it works? PhoneBak lets a user select a friend or family member’s phone number. The software can detect a change in SIM card, and when it does, it silently sends an SMS message to that preset number. The message includes the new SIM card’s phone number, which means that the owner or police can track the thief and kindly request that the phone be returned. PhoneBak software, which is priced at SGD 25.00 (USD 15/EUR 12.50), is currently only available for smartphones/mobile PDAs that run Microsoft’s Pocket PC software. Versions for other phone operating systems are expected later this year. (zTrace offers a similar service for laptops.) Considering the number of expensive mobile devices stolen every day, and the annoyance caused by subsequent data loss, this should be an easy sell to consumers around the world. _______ * A very similar tagging service was launched in The Netherlands a few months ago: redDog.