Stolen or Lost Phone - What to Do?

Haseeb Awan
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April 13, 2023
Modified On
April 13, 2023

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Losing a phone is a nightmare. Many of us have experienced that dreadful sensation when we cannot find our mobile and realize we have misplaced it, or even worse, it has been robbed. Thieves prize cell phones and the information they contain. A stolen phone can be a significant loss for the user for exact causes - they contain so much crucial personal details of emotional and financial value.

When your smartphone is stolen or lost, it is not just a phone at stake but the invaluable data inside it. If the gadget gets into the wrong hands, your credentials, banking details, work files, and other significant data may be exposed.

However, if you act quickly after discovering it has been misplaced or robbed, you can affect the potential harm to a stolen mobile and nothing else.

This article will go over what to do when the phone is lost or stolen and best practices for safeguarding a new or current phone.

What to Do if Your Mobile Phone Is Lost or Stolen?

If you misplace your iPhone or Android smartphone, you can use the built-in security features to locate, lock, and wipe it. But, before you go any further, double-check that your phone hasn't been lost.

Here are some actions you can take to track down and retrieve your lost device or, as the last option, wipe it clean to secure your data.

Find Out If It Is Lost or Stolen?

After realizing you don't have your phone with you anymore, the first thing you should do is call it. Dial your phone number from a different phone to discover whether it is just misplaced. Whether you have dropped it or it is hiding in some corner, either it will ring, and you will find it, or someone may answer the phone and assist you in locating it.

Send a quick SMS to your mobile number with a  request to bring it to you. If your phone is silent, utilize Google Find My Device's Play Sound option to make it ring. Even though it is set to silent, it will sound for 5 minutes. 

Apps like Google Find My Device, Apple Find My iPhone, or Samsung Find My Mobile help you locate your phone. Lookout Mobile, T-finder Mobile's app, allows you to beep loudly if your cellphone is around.

To find your smartphone on a map, simply go to the application's site from any internet browser, log in with your passwords, and follow the directions. It's worth noting that you'll need to establish these apps ahead of time, or they certainly don't work.

If the app indicates that your phone is nearby, such as in your home or at a recently visited cafe, you simply need to continue searching or return to the location and ask a staff person.

On the contrary, if it prompts the phone to be somewhere you did not go or seems to be in motion, chances are that your phone is stolen.

But if you realize that it is lost, then the following steps may help you recover it or wipe it.

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Lock or Wipe Your Phone Remotely

If you believe your smartphone has been robbed, lock it or wipe it clean as soon as possible. 

On Android:

Use the Find My Device service on your Android phone to lock and sign out your phone remotely. Go to Find My Smartphone and choose Secure Device to lock down your phone. Enter a new password here and then click Next. To create a lock, follow the on-screen directions.

  • If you just want to delete all data from the phone, go to the Find My Device tab and select Erase Device.
  • To proceed, click Erase Device again.
  • Sign in to your Google Account to verify your account.
  • Find My Phone will remove all data from your device after verification. Although the device is offline, the wipe process will start as soon as it is online.

Please keep in mind that after the data is removed, Find My Phone will stop working, and then you will not be able to trace the phone using the application.

Read About 7 Practical Android Privacy Tips You Didn't Know Before

On iOS:

To wipe files on an iOS device, go to and then use the Find My iPhone tool. Follow the instructions and delete the data.

Modify Critical Accounts' Login Credentials 

A Password or biometric identification verification protects mobile banking on your phone. Similarly, your email, e-shopping account, social media, and other apps require 2FA (if set up) for login.

To avoid unauthorized access and illegal use, change the passwords for all critical services you often use on your phones, such as online banking, email, social media platforms, shopping apps, corporate files, and password managers.

Inform Your Phone Service, Bank, Police, & Insurance Companies

Notify your bank to block any transaction done in the period when your phone was stolen/lost. Even if no transaction has occurred, it is always safe to secure your mobile banking until you have replaced your phone and phone number.

After that, you must alert your phone service provider or carrier. You can use the OTP-based reset password mechanism to ask your page to disable your SIM to avoid fraudulent transactions or use the other applications.

Next, making a police report regarding a lost or stolen device might be beneficial in various ways. For starters, it can assist you in proving your argument against any corrupt activities carried out using your smartphone after it has been stolen. In addition, if you have phone insurance, your request will be processed only if you provide a police record.

Last, reach out to your phone insurance company to claim the damage in case of a lost or stolen phone. It will not bring back your phone or data on it, but it will at least recover your financial loss.


Today, security measures prevent criminals from using stolen phones. You might be wondering what will happen to the stolen gadgets. The amount of phone thefts has decreased since locking is introduced on phones. Also, the phones stolen or lost do not operate on any in-country cellular networks. However, there is a market where stolen phones are sold. The positive news is that most thieves are just interested in the gadget itself, not your device's data. People can bypass locks on some phones by doing factory resets or other techniques. They could also sell them under the guise of being unlocked.

Read About 7 iOS Privacy Tips and Tricks You Didn't Know Before

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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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