Stolen Phone

Stolen Phone

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Stolen Phone Overview

With the smaller size, more powerful capability and higher value of mobile devices, stolen phones are more a part of our every day life now than ever. Sometimes a missing phone is just misplaced, but when it isn't discovered and being used it is a stolen phone. Due to cell phones small size and that they can earn a phone thief a quick $75-$200 they are a popular target for thieves. If the stolen phone is not sold, it's typically used until the owner suspends service then discarded.

Prevent Phone Theft

Here are some actions you can take to reduce the risk of having a stolen phone:

  • Don't leave your phone unattended even for a moment, even in a locked car
  • Use a phone clip or leash to keep your phone and attach it to your jeans or belt
  • Password protect your phone so a PIN must be entered to use the phone and view content
  • Don't store sensitive information, such as your birth date and social security number, on your phone or mobile device
  • Install stolen phone tracking software in case the phone is lost or stolen

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Make A Stolen Phone Easy To Return

Many missing cell phones are not stolen but lost. Make it easy for good Samaritans to return your phone if it does get lost; program your phone so it displays your contact information, and reward info if possible, even when the phone is locked. By including contact information on your phone display you will increase your chance of recovery many times over if your phone ever goes missing.

Stolen Phone, What To Do First

A common question asked is, "What should I do about a stolen phone?"

  1. First thing to do for a stolen phone is to suspend service immediately. Many times a stolen phone is used to make expensive international calls. There is no limit for charges occurred before a stolen phone is reported, this is why it is so important to suspend the service as soon as the phone is discovered missing.
  2. Report the stolen phone to the police. It is important to report the phone theft the police and get an official police report and case number. The police will generally want the name of the service provider, the make and model of the stolen phone, and the stolen phone serial number, so be sure to write this information down upon purchase of the phone. A stolen phone police report will typically be required when making a stolen phone insurance claim.
  3. Provide the police report case number to the service provider and insurance provider if it applies. Once a phone stolen is reported to the service provider, the owner of the stolen phone can no longer be held accountable for additional charges occurred.
  4. Recover A Stolen Phone

    Trying to recover a stolen phone is a stressful and time-consuming process. The situation, however, can quickly be rectified with patience and help from the authorities. Here are some steps to follow to help recover a stolen phone:

    • Retrieve the receipt and paperwork for stolen phone.
    • Obtain the IMEI and / or serial number for the stolen phone. If unsure how to obtain this, refer to the phone's manual for information on where to locate it. Most major service providers will provide this information by calling the customer service phone number or on their website.
    • Call your service provider to get the original SIM number.
    • Inform the police of the stolen phone and file an official stolen phone police report. Be sure to keep a copy of the stolen phone report and case number.
    • Call the service provider to inform them of the phone theft, send them a copy of the police report and request to be contacted if an attempt to activate the stolen phone occurs.
    • Keep your original phone number.
    • If someone attempts to insert a SIM card in the stolen phone, the service provider will be able to get the information and contact you. The stolen phone should then be able to be located by a joint effort of the service provider and the police.

    Track Where A Stolen Phone Was Last Used

    If you have recovered a stolen phone, you can use pictures a thief took against them. First off, you may be able to recognize the physical location pictures were taken. Also, when a picture is taken on a cell phone, it's encoded with data, called "exif," this data records the details of the picture including when the pic was taken and location if the phone has GPS. When stolen cell phone pictures are uploaded on the Internet, the latitude and longitude of where the photo was taken can be discovered using online tools. This location information can be very useful to the police and when completing a stolen phone police report. Sometimes the phone thief even takes pictures of themselves, once again proving thieves are not typically the smartest people.

    Outsmart The Phone Thief

    Get your recent activity from your service provider's website. By doing so you can see the most recent numbers dialed, received and data sent. Call a phone number and tell the person you found their friend's phone and you want to return it to them, typically the person won't know their friend is using a stolen phone. Ask for their name and contact information then provide this to the police.

    How To File A Stolen Phone Police Report

    The first step in any occurrence of theft is to report the incident to the police immediately. This helps you recover the stolen item if it gets confiscated and helps with an insurance claim process on the account an official police report is required to file a claim.

    Here are the general steps to file a police report:

    1. Call the non-emergency phone number for the local police station or law enforcement agency where the item was stolen.
    2. Obtain the physical address and go to the police station or law enforcement agency.
    3. Once there, go to the stolen property department if applicable.
    4. While creating a stolen property police report it's important to provide the theft detective or clerk with as many details as possible, especially the item's serial number, any identifying marks or stickers. Also include when, where and how the item was stolen.
    5. Once you have completed the report, be sure to obtain a copy and retain it for follow-up and recovery.

    It's important to file a police report for theft, no matter how big, small or valuable the stolen item is, because it helps the police know a thief's (or thieves) M.O. and to control theft by using crime data to increase patrol in areas with a high or rising crime rate. Sometimes an area's theft rate can skyrocket because people don't report theft incidents because the stolen item isn't of high monetary value. This is called petty theft and is how a petty thief can continue stealing because the police are not made aware of their activity.

    How To Report A Stolen Phone Online

    Get the world on your case! Here are the steps to create an online Stolen Phone report for free:

    1. If not yet registered, click the "Register" link at the top right-hand side of the page or click the "Report" button at page top.
    2. Enter your information and click the "Register" button.
    3. Open the email account used for registration, open the verification email and click the link in the email body or copy and paste it in your browser address bar and press the "Enter" or "Return" key.
    4. Log in to the Stolen Lost Found Online website
    5. Click the "Report" link in the main navigation bar or the "Report" button at page top.
    6. Select the appropriate category.
    7. Select the appropriate sub-category.
    8. Select to post as Stolen.
    9. Enter as much information about the Stolen Phone as possible - the make, model and serial number are especially important. Also helpful are any identifying marks and photos if available.
    10. Click the "Submit" button.

    That's it. Once the Stolen Phone report is submitted it will post on Stolen Lost Found Online immediately and will appear on the search engines within a day. By reporting online you literally make a world of difference for recovering your Stolen Phone, long into the future.

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