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Article: What to do if your cell phone is stolen

We all know that unfortunate things always happen with people. Friends were not careful and the keys from their apartment were stolen; a neighbor lost his wallet at the party and so on. There are hundreds of stories like these. In all these stories shocking things happen because of the existence of criminals minds around us. Cell phones attracted attention of criminals since they became popular. There are a few reasons for this cause. A cell phone does not weigh much and it is very easy to sell, even if you don't have a charger or manual and other related equipment. Thatís why sometimes it is even more profitable to steal a cell phone than a wallet. The average profit of a cell phone theft is an average of 3000-6000 and the risk to get trapped is very little.

There are a few ways to steal a cell phone. The classical scheme is very simple; stealing a cell phone from the pocket or purse. It is easy to steal a cell phone if there are a lot of people around, like in a movie theater or in public transport. To steal a cell phone from the belt is easier in crowds, for example during festivals or in public transport during rush-hours. When you get pushed from every direction, you won't notice one extra push. For an experienced thief, it's not an obstacle even if your cell phone is hidden under your jacket, sweater or coat.

The recommendation for this kin d of cause is simple: don't put the cell phone in the external pockets of your bag or purse; keep it inside. Of course, it may take you some extra time to get your cell phone, but it will be safer there. If you keep the cell phone on the belt, it is recommended to use a cell phone case. It is more difficult to remove this case from your belt unnoticeably.

But these are very rare cases now a days. The more common ways are snatching and robbery at gun point. These kinds of cases are very frequent in big cities like Karachi, Lahore, Shekhupura and Faisalabad. Now it is also increasing in other cities like Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Multan. A city like Islamabad is yet secure due to its tight security reasons but still there are some cases of theft, so we can say no city is fully secure from this menace.

We would like to tell you what to do if your cell phone has been stolen or lost. The very first thing you are supposed to do is, you have to call your cellular service to block your phone number. In that case they will block your SIM card and the thief will not be able to use your balance. But the other way is, let the thief use your mobile and track him by checking call details using your SIM card number but this only happens if the thief is not professional one. Above all this make a call at 021-5682222, 6583334 to CPLC (Citizen Police Liaison Committee) or to 15, you can also call directly to PTA at the following number 0800-25625 to block your mobile set. They will get some basic info and the IMEI number of your lost mobile set. They will register IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) of your cell phone and will request all the mobile operators to block this IMEI on their networks. You can also fax your complaint to CPLC at 021-5683336 or can send an email to PTA at 

IMEI is a number unique to every GSM mobile phone. It is usually found printed on or underneath the phone's battery and warranty card. IMEI of any set can also be found by dialing the sequence *#06# into the phone. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen phone from accessing the network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to "ban" the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless, regardless of whether the phone's SIM is changed.

Now a days there are many stories that IMEI number of any SIM can be changed but this is not the fact the IMEI number is embedded in the chip of the SIM that is unchangeable by anyway.

Don't rely on security codes that you setup in your phone. Entering PIN code is necessary only while switching on the phone. Criminals know that and won't switch off the phone. A password which you should enter to unlock a keypad is more efficient, but can be overwritten too. These codes can protect your phone from your friends, colleagues or your child but not from a thief. That means that all the phone numbers from your phonebook could be viewed. Some thieves find a fun dialing the numbers from your phonebook, talking with your friends. Someone may call you and offer returning your cell phone for a reward. It's a rare case when the phone is really returned, because the thieves are afraid to get caught.

The cell phone theft is a big problem of many developed countries. Some of them pass laws against it. The cell phone theft in UK was increasing greatly in the past few years. According to John Denham (British Minister of the Internal Affairs), half of the all thefts in London are cell phone thefts (totally about 700 000 of cell phones per year get stolen in UK). Now, changing of IMEI code, distribution of the information how to change it, possession and distribution of the equipment that can be used for making this change in UK will be considered as a criminal offence.

In the conclusion I'd like to say that nobody is protected against cell phone theft. Don't yell at your relatives if their cell phone was stolen. It will be a lesson for them. The most important is to prevent it from happening again.

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