How to Stop a Cell Phone Hijack

by April Khan

Even if you have a prepaid handset that you purchased in a package from a store, it is still a good thing to call your wireless provider and register the handset to safeguard your account. This will help prevent fraudulent use in the event that your phone is lost or stolen. If you have a postpay handset, your SIM card and phone will already be registered through your service provider. Whether you are a postpay or prepaid customer, take note of your cell phone company's hot line for reporting lost or stolen phones.

Locking the Phone

Go to "Settings" in your handset's main menu.

Navigate to "Security" and then "Phone Lock."

Select "Lock" or "Lock at Power On." You will be prompted to enter your phone's four-digit lock code. If you have set a code, it will be the four digits you chose. If not, it will be a generic code, such as "0000" or "1234." If the code is generic, change it to minimize the likelihood of someone being able to use your handset in the event of a theft.

Reporting the Phone Lost

Call your wireless provider's hot line and report your phone stolen. You should do this immediately. Make sure you have your account details available.

Contact your insurance carrier. If you have not taken out insurance on your phone, your home policy may cover your cell phone in the event of theft.

Write down your cell phone's SIM card and IMEI numbers. These numbers may be required if you are reporting your phone lost or stolen. The SIM card is located in the back of your phone, and the number is printed on it. The IMEI number is printed on the sticker underneath the battery of your phone. The SIM card holds the data to your account, and the IMEI number is a personal identification number for your phone.

Tip

  • If you are going out of town, notify your cell phone provider that you will be making calls from outside your area. This will raise a flag if your phone is being used in a different area.

Warnings

  • Many travel insurance companies do not cover items that are prone to being lost or stolen, including cellular phones.
  • However, some insurance companies offer coverage for cell phones at an additional premium.

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About the Author

April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.

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