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What to do if your Phone gets Stolen or Lost – Guides & Tips

Mobile phone or your wallet – For some people, their mobile phone is worth more than the contents of their wallet. With the value of smartphones ranging from a few hundred ringgit to the very expensive as high as RM8000, depending on how much money is in your wallet, you can see why some feel their smartphone is worth a lot more money. For others, the content of their smartphone including contacts, photos, videos, messages, passwords and personal information can be precious.

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So how do smartphones go missing? You may have misplaced your phone and could not find it anymore (not even by calling it). Or it may have been stolen – snatch theft cases appears to be common in Malaysia these days.

What should you do when your phone gets lost or stolen?

The first thing you should do is call your Telco customer service hotline and tell the customer service representative to block your sim card/phone number. This process is almost immediate once your identify is verified as the valid owner of the sim card number. You can get a replacement sim card from the Telco service centres.

Customer service hotline number of major mobile carriers in Malaysia:

  • Maxis +603-7492 2123
  • Celcom Axiata +6019-6011111
  • Digi +6016-2211800
  • U Mobile +60183881318

If your phone was stolen, file a police report. If you have an insurance plan that will replace your smartphone, contact the service provider.

Next, you have a few options.

If you have enabled a strong screen lock password that consist of letters, numbers, and symbols, then you shouldn’t worry much about anyone accessing your personal data on your phone. A full reset is required if anyone tries breaking into your Android and iOS smartphones and this means all the data on your phone will be deleted. Unfortunately, this doesn’t protect the contents of your microSD card in the phone.

If you use a weak type of phone screen lock method such as pattern/pin lock or face/fingerprint, there may be some possibilities for criminals to break into the phone with the right tools or brute force methods.

And if you don’t have any screen lock enabled, and your phone got stolen, a criminal could misuse your data or possibly use your identity to commit fraud (identity theft).

In any case, chances of getting a stolen phone back are slim.

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In the meantime, if you have enabled remote tracking service such as Find My iPhone, Google Find My Device, or Samsung Find My Mobile, you could try to locate your smartphone. In case you are able to locate your smartphone that was stolen, it may be tempting to go and confront the criminal but you may be putting your life in danger. You should share that tracking details with the police. Never attempt to confront the thief on your own.

If you are sure that your phone may be lost forever and won’t be able to retrieve it anymore, there two things you can do.

find-my-iphone-activation-lock

With Find My iPhone, Google Find My Device, or Samsung Find My Mobile, you can remotely wipe your smartphone, as long as the phone is connected to the Internet or when it does (with a new sim card). This helps to protect your data whether your handphone has gone missing or been deliberately snatched.

Secondly, you should contact your Telco customer service hotline to block your phone. With the Public Cellular Blocking Service (PCBS) implemented by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), your smartphone or mobile device can be blocked in Malaysia. This means that the smartphone won’t work with any sim cards issued by all Malaysian mobile operators – no calls/SMS/MMS allowed and mobile Internet services are blocked. It normally takes a day for your Telco to process this request.

If your smartphone was stolen (crime), PCBS requires that you make a police report and ensure that the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is included in the report. The IMEI is a 14 to 15 digit number that is unique to each phone and can be obtained by dialing *#06# or it can be located on their original phone packaging/case/box. A copy of this police report should be shared with your mobile operator to process the PCBS request.

PCBS details of major Telcos below:

Finally, as a precaution, you should change the password of all your online accounts, including your email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Grab, e-wallet, Telco app, banking app and every other account that your lost smartphone had access to.

Among the things you can do to protect your smartphone now:

  • Set a strong lock screen password with auto screen lock
  • Automatically back up your data/photos/videos (using apps like Google Drive/iCloud)
  • Enable remote tracking services (Find My iPhone, Find My Device)

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy