If your mobile phone has been lost or stolen then one of the first things you need to do is contact your mobile network operator, and inform them of the same. This will allow them to block your SIM and also assist you in locating you phone.
Wondering how to contact your mobile operator without a phone? Follow the steps underneath
- Get hold of a working mobile phone of your family or friends. In case you have nobody close by, and are travelling in a public vehicle, request your co-passengers for help. Somebody will be willing to lend you a phone, for your call.
- If you cannot locate a mobile phone, try to find the nearest payphone (STD/local call phone booth)
- If you have managed to get a phone with same mobile network operator as yours, then simply dial the support number, and speak to an executive ASAP, explaining them your situation, and they will help you out. For all mobile network, toll free support care number is 198
- If you are unable to locate a phone with same network provider as yours then dial the following numbers. Same numbers apply, If you are calling from a payphone:
For Airtel Prepaid – 9810198101
For Airtel Postpaid – 9810012345
For Vodafone – 9811098110
For Tata Do Co Mo – 1800-266-121
For BSNL – 9415024365
For Reliance – (Your city code) 30333333
For Reliance Jammu & Kashmir – 9018090180
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is unique to each phone, and can be considered akin to fingerprint, which is unique to each individual. So a IMEI number is an almost foolproof way of identifying a phone. This is why it’s a smart choice to keep your phone’s IMEI number handy, in case your phone is lost or stolen.
Let’s see different options of how you can locate your phone’s IMEI number:
Option 1: Dial *#06* in your dial pad. The set of digits that would come out is the IMEI number of your phone.
Option2: Open your phone, go to Settings, click on About Phone. Here your phone’s IMEI number will be displayed alongwith other information about your phone.
Option 3: Check your phone’s body frame. The IMEI is usually printed in the battery compartment. Remove your phone’s battery and look underneath. It’s a 15 digits number, hard to miss.
Option 4: Check your phone’s original packaging box. For many mobile brands, like iPhone the IMEI number is printed on the outside of the box itself
Option 5: If your phone is a Android device, and you have connected it to your Google account, then you can locate the IMEI number by logging into your Google account Dashboard, and expanding the Android Device Manager tab.
Option 6: If nothing else works, desperate time require desperate measure. Locate the invoice of your phone’s purchase. Contact the shop/website/seller from whom you purchased the phone. If you are in luck, they might have your phone’s IMEI listed in their database.
Regardless if you own an iPhone or an Android phone, it can be quite terrifying to lose your smartphone especially when you have important files stored in your phone’s memory.
Although people do their best to keep their phones safe, there are always opportunistic people who will steal them when they get the chance. In fact, the rate of stolen and lost mobile phones significantly increased in the past couple of years. This is because of the high demand for quick information and communication. Hence, it’s important that every mobile user knows how to find their phone to avoid getting victimized by these thieves.
So if you have lost your mobile phone read on for helpful tips on how to find it:
Step 1: Check your pocket, bag, or your entire room first to make sure you didn’t misplace it.
Step 2: Ask your family and friends, if they have seen your mobile phone anywhere
Step 3: Try calling your phone with another phone.If your battery aint dead, and your phone is buried somewhere under a pile of clothing in your home, then ringing it is the best way to locate it.
Step 4: Sit down and think back to the last time you had your phone, retrace your steps to where you might have misplaced it. Could you have left it in the grocery store? At the doctor’s? or maybe at the park on the bench?
If you have exhausted all options and your phone still didn’t show up, read on to learn how to find your missing phone in a few simple steps.
How to Track Your Lost/Stolen Mobile
If you’re phone is stolen, or lost and someone found it, chances are it will be immediately put up for sale online or pawned. However, if you have some tracking applications in place on your phone, your chances of getting it back are high. Lets see what are the options to find your lost phone
Option 1: Installing GPS App. This is effective if you have installed a GPS app in your phone before it was stolen. The GPS-based applications in your phone that will help you track it in case you lose it. Simply go to the website of the app you have installed,and follow their instructions to locate your phone. This is the most convenient method of finding lost mobile devices today.
Option 2: Contacting Your Own Number. Some people would try calling the lost/stolen phone, but this will only work if the phone is on, and most likely, if the phone did get stolen, the thief would turn it off immediately. In case your phone was lost, but found by some good Samaritan then this is the best way to get it back.
Option 3: Contact Police: If you have tried above two options and nothing works, go to your nearest police station and report your lost/stolen mobile phone. Some specialized cops are knowledgeable in investigating lost mobile phones and they can at least get your number blocked. This is crucial, since lost/stolen mobile phones can be used for nefarious purposes by criminal elements. And if you have not reported your phone as lost, then you too will come under police scrutiny if your phone is found linked to any illegal activity.
Reasons Why People Don’t Get Their Lost Phones Back
While there are effective ways to find a lost mobile phone, there are also factors that hinder people from recovering their phones.
- Savvy thieves are aware of the GPS locators and the likes. So, what they do is they turn off the device and remove GPS trackers installed on the device.
- Mobile phone owners do not know the IMEI number of their phone, which is one of the best ways to track your phone.
- Phones are truly lost, dead or crushed
Make sure that you keep them in a place where no prying eyes can see them. You can also ask some professionals who know how to find lost cell phones for some advice. You also need to ensure that the anti-theft feature is updated. Smart phones, nowadays, have safety features when it comes to theft and loss.
Things to Consider when Dealing with the Finder
If someone claims to have found your phone, keep the following things in mind, when interacting with the finder:
- Never disclose any personal information except your email address and/or your personal phone number.
- Contact the person who found your phone, and arrange to meet with him/her in a safe public place (preferably take someone with you for good measure)
Once you’ve got your phone back, do all the precautions you could do to secure your mobile phone so this kind of situation never happens again.
What is IMEI?
IMEI is acronym of International Mobile Equipment Identity, is a unique number encoded in every mobile phone. No two devices have the same IMEI, meaning the number assigned to your unit is only applicable to your phone alone. It is also called as the fingerprint of an electronic device as the IMEI number is sufficient for identifying a particular phone, including all of its details such as the brand and model. The phone manufacturers assign IMEI numbers to individual phones so they can identify them easily. Given that each IMEI number is unique, it is now being used for tracking lost mobile phones.
The first step in tracking mobile phones via IMEI is to actually know what the IMEI number of your phone is. There are 2 ways to get it done. The first step is to dial *#06* in your dial pad. The set of digits that would come out is the IMEI number of your phone. The second step is to check your phone’s body frame. The IMEI is usually printed at the battery compartment. If you cannot find it there, you can check with your manufacturer for help in locating your IMEI. Regardless of what method you use, make sure you save your IMEI (i.e.: write it in a notepad, save it in your backup phone) for future reference.
Why tracking IMEI is not simple
While it is simple enough to memorize your IMEI, the process of tracking a phone using it is not as simple as it sounds. The first step in the process is to report the loss of your phone to the proper authorities. From there, the authorities will write a letter to the network provider to request for IMEI tracking. Once the form is accomplished, the network will then block the phone, rendering it useless until it is unlocked. A blocked phone cannot be used even if the SIM card is changed. The process may seem straightforward, but it is not as easy as it sounds. The process is a bit lengthy, but it’s very effective once done.
The rule of thumb is that as long as your phone is connected to a network, it should be possible for you to track your mobile phone via your IMEI. The technique used for tracking mobile phones via its network connection is called triangulation. This works by sending a signal to a satellite, then the satellite will send a signal to the missing handset. Once the handset receives the signal, the location of the phone can be identified using global positioning and receiving satellite (GPRS) technology.
This technique is highly effective because there are basically only 2 ways to escape triangulation: never use a SIM card or change the IMEI number. One can always change SIM cards but the phone can still be tracked as long as the IMEI number stays intact. Changing the IMEI number is also possible, but that is a significantly trickier proposition. Changing the IMEI number is virtually impossible as only the manufacturer has access to programs that can change the IMEI number. As such, tracking a phone using the triangulation technique is virtually a fool-proof technique for tracking phones and spotting thieves.
Lost a smartphone? Let’s find it, here’s how.
If you have installed ‘Find My Phone’ app in your smartphone, this is the time to use it. Go to the website of the app and follow the instructions.
However if you like me, never installed any apps to help find you phone, and now you have lost it; then my sympathies are with you. However do not panic. If your is a smartphone, as almost all the phones are nowadays, then all is not lost yet.
Smartphones are called ‘Smart’ for a reason. They not only help you perform a host of different functions, but they can also protect themselves. Really SMART eh!.
Read on to know more about ‘Phone Retrieval Technology, and how using it you can locate your lost/stolen Smartphone.
How to find a lost Smartphone Using Phone Retrieval Technology:
- If you have an Apple, Microsoft, or a Google smartphone, you are in good hands. All these companies have a feature called ‘Phone Retrieval Technology’ is installed in their smartphones to ensure that the owners can easily track their lost mobile phones.
- The Phone Retrieval Technology, works via the account connected to the device.
- For Android users, the app is linked to their Google account; iPhone users to their iCloud account and Windows Phone users use Microsoft account.
- Login to your account and you will have numerous options to choose from.
- You can remotely wipe clean your phone of all the data, to ensure none of your sensitive data is stolen or misused.
- You can locate the current GPS location of your phone, and hopefully rush to it and get back your phone.
- You can get your phone to ring even without physically touching it. This will help alert people in case the thief has turned your phone onto silent mode, or in case your phone is buried somewhere, and you need to bring it to notice.
Catch: These features only work if the battery isn’t dead, so that’s a pre-requisite to track your smartphone using these techniques.
Points to Remember:
- There are currently just a few effective third-party apps currently available for tracking lost phones.
- For your smartphone its best to rely on the inbuilt phone retrieval technology.
- Android users can download Android Device Manager feature designed to search for lost devices
- Ensure your device management account is secured with a strong password and you know how it functions.
Given the important functions of the mobile phone in today’s lifestyle, it is very important that you do everything it takes to keep it secured. However, there are times when even your best efforts are not enough, and you end up losing your phone thru loss or theft. There are all kinds of methods used for retrieving mobile phones. One of the earliest methods that existed for finding phones is thru email@example.com. What are the things you need to know about this method? Is it still effective? Are there other alternatives available? Here are some of the things you need to know.
What Is Cop@vsnl.net?
Cop@vsnl.net is an email address that used to be owned by the Chennai Police. This email was created out of an initiative by the Chennai Police to create a more effective means for tracking down stolen mobile phones. For a little perspective, Chennai is the Capital of Tamil Nadu, and a major metropolis of India. Mobile thefts occur in Chennai, as well as all across the world on a daily basis.
Chennai Police had created the email ID firstname.lastname@example.org, to help the cops in tracking down lost mobile phones. Chennai residents were encouraged in case of lost/stolen mobile phone to send in an detailed email to this ID, and Chennai police would look into the matter. The email would contain critical information such as the phone model, the IMEI number, the incident report of how you lost your phone, etc. This basically eliminated the necessity of going to police stations for help.
Given the immense convenience it provided, Cop@vsnl.net became one of the most popular email Id in the world. Chennai police was inundated with mails reporting lost/stolen mobile phones on this ID. This campaign has proven to be very effective, with the Chennai Police being able to solve a high number of mobile theft cases. The popularity of this email basically exploded when this campaign was featured in “The Hindu”. In fact, even non-Chennai residents started sending emails on a daily basis.
Does This Technique for Mobile Tracking Still Work?
When it was first released, there is no doubt that the Cop@vsnl.net campaign was a runaway success. It was successful in solving local cases of mobile thefts in Chennai. However, this email has a very critical limitation: the Chennai Police only focused on resolving theft cases reported within the Chennai area. Still, it worked very well while it lasted. Nowadays, this service does not exist anymore. In fact, this email has been nonfunctional since 2006.
If the Cop@vsnl.net is such a popular campaign, why did it cease to exist? According to the Chennai Police, this email address simply stopped working. As such, they cannot see all emails sent to the address, which simply meant that they cannot take action to all cases reported thru that email. The interesting thing is that a lot of people believe that this email still works, more than a decade since it was last functional. Forwarded in all kinds of forums and emails around the world up to this day, people are still reporting mobile phone losses and thefts in Cop@vsnl.net.
So What Should You Do Now?
It is a given that as a campaign at large, Cop@vsnl.net was an effective method for retrieving lost mobile phones. However, this service does not exist anymore, being non-operational for more than a decade now. So what can you do about it? The best thing you can do is to tell people about it. If you have family and friends who are intending to use this email service, tell them that this service does not work anymore. Also, you can share this article in your social media accounts so that more people would know. Perhaps most importantly, you must know that there are alternatives available for tracking down lost mobile phones.
So what should you do now? If you lost your mobile phone, here are the steps you must do.
- Report the loss to the police- Once you lose your mobile phone, it is important that you have the loss reported to the authorities right away. It is important that you file an incident report to the police right away so that proper action can be taken right away. They can help you in tracing your mobile phone (in coordination with network providers) and possibly investigate the case of the loss of your device. Not only does this action help in finding your phone, but it will also help in finding who should be held responsible in case of a theft.
- Provide all pertinent information to the authorities– When reporting to the cops, it is important that you make your report as detailed as possible. It is important that you tell them basic information such as when and where you lost your phone. You should also report details about your mobile phone such as the type of unit and the IMEI number. The IMEI, also known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity, is a number that is unique to each mobile phone produced. You can obtain your IMEI by dialing *#06*. Make sure to have a copy of it saved for future reference.
- Report loss to a lost mobile database– Reporting the loss of your mobile phone in a lost mobile database is helpful in many ways. There are authorized websites that support such a database. A quick Google search of “lost, stolen, and found mobile” will yield legitimate results where you can send the IMEI of your lost phone. To register your phone, all you have to do is enter the IMEI on the database. From there, they will do the rest.
- Use tracking apps– A tracking app is an effective means for tracking down lost mobile phones. Different apps function in different ways, and they often do so without the thief knowing it. Some apps connect to GPS services for accurate tracking, while others send via email or SMS detailed coordinates of the phone’s location. More advanced apps even take photos using the front camera that may be used to identify who has possession of your phone. It must be noted that these apps should be installed in your phone before it gets lost.