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What to Do When Your Cell Phone is Lost or Stolen

It is a crisis that will rock your world and throw you off track in your daily routine so badly you might cry – your cell phone is lost or stolen. If you’re like most people, your cell phone is your lifeline. It carries with you all your most important contact information, messages, and photos. You use it to record and recall your schedule and calendar of events. It’s your method of communication with everyone in the outside world from text messages to voicemail to social media sites at your fingertips. It probably is even the alarm that wakes you up in the morning.mobile-phones

So what will you do if it’s lost or stolen? Will your entire world come to an end? Believe it or not, life will go on. It may take some time to recover, but you will. When you first realize your phone is missing, and after you’re absolutely sure you didn’t just leave it in the car or on your friend’s kitchen table, there are some things you should do.

Contact Your Phone

This is surely your first instinct anyway, but make sure you call and text your phone, just in case some helpful citizen has found it. You can even offer a reward in your text for its safe return. Contacting your phone won’t always work, but it’s worth a shot. Don’t try too long to reach someone, though. Maybe attempt for a few hours, and then move on to step two.

Call Your Provider

You should then call your cell phone provider and let them know you’re cell phone has been lost or stolen. If someone of ill repute has your phone, they could begin racking up major charges quickly with downloads and calls, and you don’t want to have to foot the bill. They will suspend service on the device in case it’s found and until you get a replacement.

GMS Users: Record your 15  Digit  International Mobile Equipment Identity “IMEI number” and in a safe place separate from your phone.


Your IMEI number can be obtained by pressing *#06# into most phones (except China phones) or by looking behind the battery of your phone.
Report the number of your stolen phone to your network operator as quickly as you can with the IMEI number, they will DISABLE your phone and make it unusable for any mobile network, even if any other SIM card is inserted.

CDMA Users:  CDMA doesn’t use the IMEI, but an Electronic Serial number ( ESN), identifies both handset and subscriber-as there is usually no SIM card. You can use the ESN number to disable your service.

Change Your Passwords

In the event that you cell phone could be being hacked, change all your passwords to email and other important log-ins you use on your cell phone. If you do any banking on your cell phone or have credit card accounts, notify them that your cell phone is missing, too, just in case. Don’t forget to change your social media passwords, too, like your Facebook account.

Report it Stolen

If your cell phone truly is your lifeline, you may want to consider reporting it stolen to the police. It can’t hurt, anyway. Maybe one day it will even turn up after an exciting criminal bust.

Also, Now that you have lost your phone and SIM you might want to apply for a new SIM. First, You will need an Police First Information Report (FIR) for this, without  FIR they won’t accept your application.

Lodge a complaint, get a FIR from the police station and apply for a new SIM form your nearest Mobile service gallery. A SIM will be issued after completing the form procedures and the service will be active for the same number in few hours.

Even after you have a new cell phone and your old one has no service anymore, you still might hope to get it back someday. You can advertise in the local paper and on websites like Craigslist, asking people to keep a lookout. If you offer a reward, that could be a nice incentive. You just might get it back some day when you least expect it.


The best thing you can do is prepare yourself in the event your cell phone is lost or stolen. Even if you think it will never happen to you, it could, and it is best to have everything backed up. Back up all your data on your home computer and it will lessen the impact losing your phone will have. You won’t have to ask everyone for their phone numbers again or explain to your boss why you don’t have that report on time. Back up your data at least once a month and losing your cell phone won’t be such a life-altering disaster.

About the author


Vikram is a Digital Media Strategy Consultant who helps small business owners grow their
business. He is passionate about blogging, digital marketing, and emerging technologies.

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