What To Do BEFORE Your Cell Phone Is Stolen

iPhone find your IMEI number in case of theft

“Bonnie” flew into Paris for business. She went to a Starbucks and set down her iPhone. Someone came up to her with a piece of paper. When “Estelle” looked at the paper, by sleight of hand the phone disappeared, in a second.

A purse can disappear just as quickly. Set it down to try on shoes, someone comes from behind and the purse disappears!

The difference is that you can save your phone from being used.

Copy down the IMEI number from your iPhone . The calls can be blocked, if you report your phone stolen to the nearest phone service or a company similar to yours from home: Orange, Vodaphone, Virgin, etc. .

Finding the IMEI number
One way to quickly find your IMEI number and jot it down is by pressing *#06#.
Other methods include connecting the phone to your iTunes or your invoice.

1. Look for IMEI on your original invoice.

2. Phone method
This information comes from the United Kingdom Orange Web site:
“If your mobile is lost or stolen, it’s important to ensure that it can’t be used again. Call Orange customer services as soon as possible. Orange will bar the SIM card, block calls from the phone account and immobilise the phone using the IMEI number.

The IMEI number is a unique identifier which can be found by pressing *#06#. By keeping a record of it you’ll help operator companies disable the handset on all networks. It can also be used by the police to prove a phone is stolen.

You can register the IMEI number free of charge by visiting the Mobile Phone Register. It helps police find the original owner of a stolen phone.”

3. iTunes method
The Apple Web site has a summary of ways to find your iPhone serial number, International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), ICCID, or Mobile Equipment Identfier (MEID).

List of easy to follow methods:
When iPhone is connected
When iPhone is not connected
On the SIM tray of iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 (GSM model):
On the the back of the original iPhone
iPhone About screen
In Apple System Profiler
iPhone packaging

Orange (my service) in France, they suggest that you contact the nearest police department (préfecture de police). Have the serial number for the phone (IMEI). With their help, your phone can be blocked immediately making it totally nonfunctional. (Use Google Translate)

Send the complaint paperwork to your customer service. Upon receipt they should stop all traffic from your phone, even if another phone operator’s SIM card is activated. Your line and billing should already have been protected from the beginning.
Customer services should reimburse all fees for renewing your SIM card and reimburse contract fees during the suspension of your line. These are the French Orange customer service guidelines.

Three days after this blog entry was posted, I read in the newspaper “Directmatin” that fewer phones are being stolen. Blocking the phone is the new deterrent. The prefecture de police said that since March 2011, 9,259 mobile phones have been blocked in the Paris region. In the city along that accounts for 5,122 phones. The telephone operators react as quickly as they receive the complaint from the police. But nothing is certain. The police say that you still have to remain vigilant of your surroundings. IPhones and Blackberrys are the principal targets to be stolen and resold.

The purse? you might get it back minus the money. I received my important documents from the thief; but they found my credit card PIN numbers (Lost Stolen Credit Cards). This was in 1992. After my wallet was stolen at school a month later, I punished myself for the following year and wore a pouch around my neck. It contained all of my important documents and credit card. Knock on wood, I have been very careful since then.

Préfecture de Police FAQ – Advice for Tourists

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