The risks and impacts

More than 200,000 mobile phones are reported lost or stolen in Australia each year.

According to a recent study by the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association, mobile phones are most likely to be stolen from cars (28%), social venues such as restaurants, pubs and clubs (20%) and the workplace (8%). Most phones are reported lost or stolen on Mondays, suggesting that most phones go missing over the weekend.

If a phone is stolen, there is a risk that thieves could use it. Most mobile phone providers will not cover you for any calls that thieves make from your phone. You are required to contact them and put a stop on your phone to block any calls from occurring - however it can be difficult and expensive to contact your mobile phone provider especially if you need to call them outside of normal business hours or if you are overseas.

How Secure Sentinel helps

If you lose your mobile phone, simply contact Secure Sentinel and we will have a temporary block placed on your phone to prevent anyone from making unauthorised calls. By attaching a Secure Sentinel fraud deterrent label to your phone, thieves are less likely to steal it. If an honest member of the public finds your phone and wishes to return it they simply need to contact Secure Sentinel on the number displayed on the label. Our specially trained staff will help to facilitate the return of the phone to the owner.

Secure Sentinel members register their mobile phone details in their Secure Sentinel profile including the model, service provider, mobile phone number and 15 digit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This information is often needed when speaking with police or making an insurance claim. 

Practical mobile phone safety tips

There are some very simple steps that you can take to help protect your mobile phone:

  • Do not leave your phone in the car. If you must, lock it out of sight.

  • It only takes a moment for a thief to smash a window and take your phone which means a broken window as well as a stolen phone.

  • Keep your phone on you, not simply with you. Try to keep your phone in your hand or trousers or jacket pocket rather than in a handbag or briefcase. It's easier to protect your phone if it's in sight or close to you.

  • Use a PIN and code lock on your phone. It reduces the chance of unauthorised use and makes it more likely that the handset will be returned. Don't leave your phone on a table when you're at a café or restaurant as this presents an easy opportunity for thieves to grab it and run.

  • Do not keep personal information on your phone such as your home address, bank details or any passwords. If a thief was able to access this information they could subject you to further criminal activity.

  • Try not to use your phone in an area where theft is more likely to occur, such as at a train station late at night.

  • Do not draw unnecessary attention to your phone such as speaking with the loudspeaker or talking about the phone in public, particularly if it is a high end model.

  • Consider engraving your Secure Sentinel membership number on the phone or the phone battery. This makes it less attractive to thieves who may wish to steal and then sell the phone.

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association