1. Don’t Panic. Report the loss and disable your phone number and/or your phone.
If you misplace your phone or believe it is stolen, report the loss to your network provider and keep records of the date and time you called them, the name of the person to whom you spoke to, and what you have been informed.
In addition, you can do one of the following:
- Disable your phone number (not your account). This will prevent from any further charges being applied to your account.
- Disable your mobile phone device. This will prevent anyone from using the phone across any network, even if the SIM card is changed (keep in mind that once the phone is disabled, it may not be able to be used again, even if you get it back!). Some network providers may not provide this service. If they do, they will use your IMEI number to block your hand set and account details. Ask for confirmation in writing that your phone has been disabled to prevent the thief making any fraudulent charges on your account.
- Disable both your phone number as well as your mobile phone device. To be safe you can choose to disable your phone number as well as your hand set (keep in mind that once the phone is disabled, it may not be able to be used again, even if you get it back!).
2. File a police report immediately.
Report the theft to the police and attach a copy of the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number with the report. If your phone is stolen and the thief makes too many calls especially international calls, you might end up being asked to pay a hefty bill.
Some phone companies may require proof that the phone was actually stolen, versus it having been lost. For these reasons a police report is necessary. It serves as evidence, which will make your network provider more cooperative. You may also open an investigation with your network provider if necessary.
3. Identify any unauthorized withdrawals.
Verify with your bank, online payment institutions (Paypal for example) and CC provider to check no unauthorized withdrawal has been made.
If any such transactions are identified contact your bank and other financial institutions to freeze your accounts. In any case, make sure you change your PIN numbers and secure codes.