6 steps to follow if you lose your phone

When your smartphone goes missing, take these steps and reduce the stress.
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6 steps to follow if you lose your phone

Ever lost your phone? It’s a nightmare, but there are things you can do to try and locate it again – and if the worst happens, and it’s gone forever, you can limit the cost and the hassle by following some simple steps.

It’s probably worth bookmarking this page on your laptop or tablet, too. You never know when you might need this information, and it’s good to know it’s close at hand.

Step 1: Try to find your phone

Turn on your phone’s location services, and you should be able to log into your account and see its location.

If you’ve got an iPhone, download the Find My Phone app and sign in at iCloud.com to see your phone’s location.

If you’ve got an Android, head to settings, select ‘Security & Location’ and toggle ‘Find My Device’ to on. Then, if you lose your phone, go to www.google.co.uk/android/devicemanager, and your phone’s location will appear on the map. Choose to ring, lock or erase.

Step 2: Cancel your SIM

No luck finding your phone? Contact your provider and ask them to bar your SIM. Once cancelled, no-one will be able make calls from your phone or use your data, which will hopefully avoid a big bill being run up.

They may also be able to blacklist the device, meaning that no-one would ever be able to use it – even if it was sold on.

Step 3: Call the police

If you’re pretty sure your phone’s lost or stolen, and probably won’t be coming back, report it to the police. Get a crime reference number while you’re at it – you’ll need this if you’re claiming on your insurance, or if you want a replacement through Team Knowhow.

Step 4: Report it to your insurance company

Step 3 leads to step 4. Tell your insurance company – or Team Knowhow if you’re signed up – that your phone’s missing. Give them that crime reference number and pass on the details about your phone and when you last saw it.

Step 5: Check if you’ve run up a bill – and if you can write it off.

It’s important to report the phone missing ASAP, because any big bills generated up to that point will probably have to be paid for. However, some networks charge a maximum of £100 in this instance, provided you’re on a monthly contract and you’ve reported your phone missing within 24 hours. You might not get anything back if you’re on pay as you go. If you’ve got insurance, you should be able to claim for all unauthorised calls.

Step 6: Get a new phone and SIM

You’re going to need a new phone at the end of all this. While your network will probably send you a new SIM, they may charge you a small amount.

It’s unlikely they’ll give you a replacement phone for free, and if you’re on a monthly plan, you’ll have to pay it up to the end of your contract.

You then have a choice: buy a new phone and continue with your current contract, wait until the end of the contract and get a new phone then (upgrade). Or perhaps get a cheaper pay as you go deal – or SIM Free phone and SIM Only deal – to tide you over.

Of course, if you’re insured, you may be able to get a new phone for free. Team Knowhow’s Mobile Complete plan will protect your phone against loss and theft.

Have you got any other good tips for lost and stolen phones? Any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share? You know the drill, comments under here ↓↓↓↓↓

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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