We usually carry a lot of personal information on our phones, and no one wants to think about it getting stolen or lost, especially if it happens when you are in a foreign country. Losing your phone when traveling can quickly turn your journey into a nightmare. Not only do you run a risk of somebody raking up a huge bill using your phone number, but your phone can also be utilized as a gateway to your personal information. So, here is what to do if your phone is lost or stolen while traveling:
- Text or Call Your Phone – Start by calling or texting your phone number once you realize it’s missing. This is a simple way of knowing whether (or not), another person has found your phone and turned it on. If you don’t have any companion traveling with you, you can ask your hotel’s front desk if you can use their telephone. You can also go further and leave a text message or a voicemail on your phone with your information, and the number to call back.
- Use Features like ‘Find My Phone’ – Some phones come with the locator function such as ‘Find my Phone’. This feature is specially designed to help people find their stolen or lost phones. Once it’s installed and activated, you can access your smartphone remotely by simply logging into your Apple or Google account using a different device.
- Cancel Your SIM – If you cannot track your smartphone or you know for sure it has been stolen, consider wiping its’ data. Though this will mean losing the data that’s not backed up, it is the best way to make sure your personal information and identity are protected. You can erase your phone remotely using the “Find my Phone” app on both Android and iOS.
- Contact the Police – Once you know for certain that your phone has been stolen or is lost, contact the police. For insurance purposes, you will need to file a police report. Make sure you get a crime reference number as you will need it to make your insurance claim. Filing a police report soonest possible, also makes it much easier for the police to track down your phone.
- Report it to Your Insurance Company – You should let your particular insurance company know that your phone is missing. They will most probably ask for details about your phone, when you had it last, and for the crime reference number.
- Change Passwords – If you normally use your phone for banking, social media, email and other applications which hold personal information, you should consider changing your passwords and usernames. Also, if you have cards attached to apps such Spotify and Apple Pay, make sure you monitor them for any kind suspicious activity.
- Contact Your Carrier – You need to get in touch with your particular carrier and have them disable your phone, together with the data services. They’ll also be in a better position to advice you on exactly how to proceed. Depending on your carrier and plan, your stolen or lost phone might be covered, and the carrier may ship a new device to where you’re located.