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What to do if your smartphone is lost or stolen

Having your phone lost or stolen is an immensely frustrating experience, so here are the steps you can take if it happens.

It’s awful when your smartphone is lost or stolen, particularly if it took place in traumatic circumstances. It’s not easy to know what to do when it happens, but in the article below we’ve collected some advice so that you can try to make the best of a bad situation. Here’s our advice for if you’ve had your phone lost or stolen in the UK.

Attempt to locate it

Before you take drastic action, first try to find where your phone is. You can do this by using apps such as Find My on your iPhone, or Find My Device for Android smartphones, which can give you its last registered GPS location.

You can also try just texting or calling the device; if it’s nearby you may hear it, or if someone has picked it up for you they may be able to respond to it and let you know where it is.

Report its loss to your network provider and the police

If you cannot locate your phone and are sure that it has been lost or stolen, then you can report its loss to your network provider and then to the police.

When reporting it to your network provider online or over the phone, they can block the SIM card and send you a new one, and they may also be able to give you the phone’s IMEI number, which is a unique reference to your individual phone that you can pass on to the police.

The Citizens Advice Bureau recommends that you can contact the police either by going to a police station in person, or by calling the phone number 101. They will be able to give you a crime reference number which you can use if you need to claim insurance.

Block your phone and change your passwords

There are a few steps you can now take to ensure your phone’s security. Using Find My on your iPhone or Find My Device on Android, you can lock the phone to prevent others from accessing it, or even wipe its contents remotely to keep them safe from any interference.

On top of that, it’s also worth changing your passwords, particularly for sensitive apps such as online banking, in case someone has already managed to log in to your phone and has potentially accessed your accounts. This extra security step should stop them from making further inroads into your personal data or finances.

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