Posted On 15 Nov 2018
Mobile phone theft is one of the most commonplace crimes in the world. Whether you are mugged, pickpocketed, or your phone is simply lifted off the table in a bar when you’re distracted, it’s easy to lose your phone and not so easy to get it back.
In addition to losing an expensive handset, if you don’t realize your phone has been stolen for some time, thieves might run up expensive bills or even use the device to access your financial information. Obviously, the best thing to do is to be careful with your phone at all times and make sure it is not accessible to thieves; however, if the worst comes to the worst, there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize the damage.
First, make sure you haven’t just lost your phone – it’s all too easy to leave your phone in another jacket, drop it down the back of the sofa, leave it in your car and so on and then assume it has been stolen.
Using Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager you can instruct your phone to ring loudly, lock it, change its password or, in the worst-case scenario, erase all your data.
These applications have to be set up in advance, so it’s a good idea to make it the first thing you do when you get a new phone.
When you’ve found out where your phone is, give it a ring to ascertain if it has been found by someone honest who is happy to return it. Be careful; if you have any suspicions that the person holding your phone is a criminal, don’t get involved with them – you could end up losing a lot more than just your phone! If you’re certain the thief has your phone and you know their location, alert the police.
In many other cases, telling the police can be a bit of a waste of time; unless you are positive that your phone has been stolen, they won’t really be interested. However, your insurers will probably need a record of a police report before they pay out. Don’t forget to make sure that your provider knows as soon as your phone is lost or stolen; you’ll be liable for any costs run up by a thief up until the time you report it.
The chances of recovering a stolen phone are very slim, but you can mitigate the damage by making sure your phone is password protected and thieves can’t access the App Store or other accounts without passwords. The best advice is to keep your phone carefully protected at all times and make sure there is as little financial information stored on it as possible.