Mobile phone theft – don’t let it happen to you!

Mobile phone thefts have been in the news recently, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid and comedian Michael McIntyre both victims of phone snatching.  And scooter and moped robberies – with phones often the target – have surged in cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Stockport.

So how can you keep your mobile phone safe?

Here are our top tips to secure your phone (and other essential gadgets):

Set up security features …

Mobile phones come with a range of security features but they only work if you turn them on – obvious really! So make sure to enable all these functions (go to the security settings on your phone or visit the manufacturer’s website for help):

  • Access control – PIN, password, pattern or biometric authentication
  • Remote handset locating function
  • Remote data wipe or handset lock
  • Home screen message function (so your contact details display if someone finds your phone)
  • Prevent unauthorised factory reset

Also …

  • Find out your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. This unique number is hardwired into your device during manufacturing. If it is stolen this number will help the police and insurance companies to identify your phone; it also means your network will be able to stop the phone from working. There are 3 ways to find out your IMEI:
    • type *#06# into the keypad of your phone
    • look inside the battery or SIM card compartment
    • check the box or paperwork you received when you bought your phone

While you’re out and about …

  1. Keep your phone and other devices out of sight in zipped bags or pockets while you’re out and about. Most mobile phone theft is opportunistic so don’t give thieves that opportunity. Don’t put your phone in your back pocket.
  2. If you are using your phone for navigation, plan your route ahead of time and print out a map.
  3. Avoid using public charging stations whenever possible.
  4. Don’t leave your phone unattended in a public place. This may seem blindingly obvious but a surprising number of people leave their phones on the table in pubs or cafes. It’s very easy for a thief to take your phone if you’re distracted even for a moment.
  5. Take stock of your surroundings before using your phone. Crowded public spaces like train and underground stations are popular locations for phone snatching. And also …
  6. … Don’t be a ‘phone zombie’! Walking along a busy street while totally absorbed in your phone makes you a vulnerable target for thieves.

If the worst happens …

If your phone does get stolen despite all these precautions, report it to your network operator and the police as soon as possible and make a note of your crime reference number.

Having mobile phone insurance in place gives you peace of mind if you do find yourself the victim of phone theft. Our sister company, Captain Cover, offers consumers three levels of cover on a wide range of phones and gadgets. For brokers, please contact us for more details of the options available for your clients – phone 0114 249 3300 or email