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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lost and stolen mobile phones keep it safe & know what to do if you lose it

If you lose your mobile phone, or have it stolen, not only do you have to deal with the inconvenience of not having your phone, but you could be paying for someone elses calls!   


Prevention is better than cure.
Reduce your phones appeal to thieves and assist in its recovery if it is lost or stolen:

 1) Treat your phone as you would any valuable item: Even if you got your handset as a $0 upfront deal, this does not reflect its true cost. Handsets are expensive - they can cost more than $1000. 
  • Be discrete. Keep your mobile on you. Never put it down in a public place or leave it unattended.
  • Switch to vibrate mode in circumstances where a ring tone might attract the attention of a thief.  

2) Use your phones security features: Your phone has security features which you can use to stop others using your phone for example, you can set a Personal Identification Number (PIN) number which must be entered before anyone can use the phone. Read your handset User Guide to find out what features your phone has and use them. Even if your phone isn’t stolen, someone might be tempted to borrow your phone and make a few expensive calls without your knowledge.  

3) Name it: Some form of personal identification on your phone can deter the would-be thief. Consider engraving your initials on your phone and the battery, and  if you have one also including your drivers license number.  

4) Know your IMEI: Every mobile phone has a unique 15-digit electronic serial number, known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Record your phones IMEI number and keep it in a safe place in case your phone is lost or stolen. You can check your IMEI number by dialing *#06#.  

5) Insurance: Don’t assume your phone is covered in your (or your parent’s) home contents insurance. Check and consider insuring it separately, if necessary. Remember that even if you got the phone for ‘$0 upfront, this doesn’t mean it was free it means the cost was absorbed in the overall contract price. You may not be able to get a replacement phone for $0 upfront.  

If your phone is lost or stolen:

6) Notify your network carrier AND the police immediately in the event of loss or theft. Tell them your IMEI number and any other identifying features on your phone (e.g. engraved initials). Your carrier can use this number to block your phone from all networks once you report the phone lost or stolen, making it useless to any thief. Importantly, this also ensures you’re not paying for any calls made by the thief. If the handset is subsequently found, the IMEI block can be easily removed as long as you can prove you’re the original, rightful owner of the phone.

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