What to do if your Cell Phone gets Stolen/Lost

June 15th, 20101:23 am @    

If you are a cell phone user then this is a must read for you. Mobile handset, due to its size, is quite easy to misplace, loose or to be nicked by a passer-by. Hence one must be prepared for such a situation. This article explains the procedure of recovering lost/stolen mobile phone and also the concept of IMEI number.

Some time ago there was a great hue and cry over banning of Chinese cell phones in India. But only a few of us would have wondered why exactly such a step was taken by the Government. The answer to the question is IMEI number.

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is an international identity number used to uniquely identify a mobile phone handset. It is a 15 digit number which serves as a digital finger print. It is transmitted every time the phone is used revealing the identity of the mobile handset. The IMEI number is usually written underneath the battery/the back of the handset, or else you can find it out by dialing *#06# on your mobile. Mobile owners should make a note of their IMEI number and keep it in a safe place since it comes handy in tracking a lost/stolen mobile.

The Chinese handsets that were imported by India did not have the IMEI numbers. This posed threat to national security since the identity of such handsets could not be traced and there was a strong possibilty that these handsets were being used by terrorists.

The process of tracking a lost/stolen mobile phone is as follows:

Firstly, you must lodge an FIR in the nearest police station giving details of the incident. FIR is lodged only in the case of ‘Stolen phones’.  (In case of ‘lost’ cell phone, the police would note down the complaint on a simple paper and provide you with its copy after signing it. This signed complaint may be used instead of an FIR for further process.)

Take the copy of the FIR to your service provider (i.e. your sim-card’s company). You can go to an outlet authorized by the company. The service provider will lock the sim so that no one else can use the sim issued in your name.

In tracking the handset IMEI number is utmost essential. With the help of your IMEI number the service provider tracks the lost/stolen mobile handset and gives you the current location of your handset.

The follow-up is taken up by the police authorities.

If everything goes the way it should then definitely you will get back your lost/stolen handset!

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Nikita is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of MightyLaws.in. She is a lawyer/author residing in Delhi. She believes that increasing legal awareness is the key to ensure social justice and simplification of law is the means to achieve it. She writes articles on social and political issues for various platforms in English and Hindi.

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