What to Do if Your Smartphone Gets Stolen

Jun 7, 2019

If your smartphone gets stolen, you may have a brief window of opportunity to lock your device and track its location. Although some professional electronics thieves know the steps necessary to quickly block your ability to find the phone, many will wait until they get far enough away before they remove the SIM card or block outside access to the device’s signal.

This gives you the chance to secure your phone and track its location. If you can’t recover the device, you have options for replacing your phone that are more cost-effective than buying a new one.


Secure the Device with a Password

Virtually all cellular carriers offer a mobile app that becomes invaluable if your phone goes missing. The first order of business is putting a strong password on the device. If you use an Android device, you can handle everything through your Google account.

Wipe Your Smartphone’s Data

If you’re running iCloud or another cloud-based backup utility, your data is safe. If you aren’t using cloud backup, you will lose any data that has accumulated since your last backup. However, if you have sensitive personal or financial information on your phone or tablet, use your mobile app to wipe the phone.

Track Your Phone’s Location

Unless the thief removed your device’s SIM card or placed the device in a signal-blocking box, you should be able to use your mobile app or the Google utility to track its location. Authorities advice against approaching or confronting anyone you suspect has your device. You can, however, drive to the phone’s approximate location, park nearby and call the police. In most cities, the police will dispatch offers to meet you and take the investigation from there.

Sound an Alert on Your Smartphone

If you have the ability to do so remotely, trigger an alert tone to play from your phone. On many devices, this alarm tone is both loud and persistent, and it will sound even if the volume is turned down or off on the device. This is particularly helpful as the police go to investigate. If you get lucky, the alarm could lead officers directly to the device.

Contact the Carrier

Call your carrier and advise them that your device has been stolen. They can suspend your service until you recover or replace the device. You can also ask the carrier to place your phone on the nationwide “ban list.” Once on the ban list, no carrier will activate the device until or unless you remove the device from the list yourself, should you recover it.

If you can’t recover the device, you may be able to get a replacement from your carrier – if you purchased their insurance. However, in many cases, your deductible may be higher than the cost of a professionally refurbished smartphone.

In Utah, FixIT Mobile | Bad Apple provides expert smartphone and tablet repair services. But we also sell high-quality, refurbished devices of all types. Our prices are tough to beat, and this is a great option if you aren’t prepared to buy a new phone or pay the high deductible for smartphone replacement insurance.

Visit us online to stop by one of our convenient locations to browse our selection of used and refurbished smartphones.