14/10/10 in Mobile Fraud/Theft |
Most people rely on their mobile phone, whether it’s for keeping in touch with friends and family, needing to be available to take that important call for work or even updating your Facebook status. With mobile phones increasing in value, both in cost and in the easily identifiable high end handsets, they are becoming more attractive to thieves, so you need to make sure your phone is safe at all times.
Phone theft doesn’t just mean you can’t contact friends or family and have to replace your phone, a thief could also use your phone to run up a bill. In fact, in just 12 hours a criminal could run up a bill of more than £1,000 on your phone¹
With more and more people using their phone for social networking, e-mail, shopping online and internet banking, the risk of usernames and passwords falling into the wrong hands is even greater. Even if the individual who has stolen the phone has no intention of using this data, quite often the handsets will quickly leave the country and this is now being seen as an additional revenue stream for the organised crime syndicates.
Whilst all handsets have the capability to be locked down by either simply enabling the PIN code or by installing security applications, very few people actually do this.
Here are some tips to help prevent you becoming a victim of mobile phone theft:
- Make sure your PIN is turned on so your phone is locked
- Be wary about where you use your phone for example, in a public place like a bar or on the street
- Ensure your security settings are set up and turned on
- Keep your phone out of sight in your pocket or bag when you’re not using it
- Don’t leave your phone in the car
- Note down your IMEI number (which is printed on the inside of the battery case), this will help your service provider to blacklist your phone
- You can help to protect your phone by registering your handset details on the Immobilise database (www.immobilise.com). Registration is free and the database is used by the police in the fight against crime.
If your phone is lost or stolen you need to:
- Call your network provider as soon as possible so they can blacklist your phone and bar your SIM card to make sure a thief can’t run up a bill at your expense
- Report a theft to the local police station.
¹Source: T Mobile international tariff (zone 6) call to country.
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