Pickpockets and other thieves will be working overtime over the Christmas and New Year period, and this will see countless people throughout the country confused as to where their mobile phone is. Many will wait for their phone to turn up, hoping that it will be soon found in a lost property bin, behind the sofa cushions or in a friend’s pocket, but Ofcom has warned that these delays could be a costly mistake.
Research by the telecoms regulator showed that people who have had their mobile phone lost or stolen will on average rack up an additional £65 on their bill, with some people facing bills of hundreds or thousands of pounds due to charges caused by the unauthorised use of their phone.
Consumers are liable for all charges they incur up until the moment they report their phone as being stolen or lost, and although the industry and government are working together to introduce a cap on the amount of charges customers can receive, this cap has not yet been enacted.
Ofcom therefore warned people that they should tell their provider immediately if they believe their handset has been stolen or is lost. The provider will then block the SIM, so calls cannot be made on the phone. This block can usually be reversed if the phone is later recovered, although different providers may have different rules about this.
The organisation also offered the following advice:
- Treat your phone in the same careful way you treat credit and bank cards
- Protect your handset and SIM with a password
- Record the phone’s IMEI number, make and model. The IMEI number can be found behind the phone’s battery or can be displayed on the handset if you key in ‘*#06#’
- Bar calls to premium-rate and international numbers
- Use apps that can trace a lost or stolen mobile
With Gadget Cover, you will be protected against the theft of your mobile phone, and for an additional £1 a month, you will also receive optional loss cover. We will also insure you against unauthorised calls made on your handset. Get a quote online today!