Mobile phone theft on the rise! In Ireland.

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GARDAÍ HAVE REVEALED that almost 8,000 mobile phones were reported stolen in Ireland in the first half of 2012.

The figures were released as Garda authorities prepare a new drive encouraging people to be wary of the theft of phones – and to keep their phone’s serial number so that handsets can be blocked immediately.

Dublin City’s Joint Policing Committee is to publish an information leaflet on smartphone theft next Tuesday.

GARDA have made a simple guide here to prevent phone theft.

The following practical measures can
help in preventing and reducing mobile
phone theft;
Register your mobile phone with your service provider
Take careful note of your unique 15 digit
mobile phone International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number
Each mobile phone has an individual serial
number called the IMEI number, which can
be identified by the
mobile phone service
provider’s network. It
is a 15-digit number
on the back of your
handset under the
battery and can be
found on most handsets by pressing *#06# on your phone keypad. The IMEI will appear on the screen.
You should record your IMEI number in case
your mobile phone is lost or stolen. Your mobile phone service provider may liaise with
Gardaí about a lost or stolen handset and, if
found, your handset will be able to be identified by the number.
Thieves have been deterred from stealing
mobile phones with the introduction of IMEI
‘blocking’. Blocking an IMEI on a mobile
phone network prevents a mobile phone from
being used with any SIM on any mobile
network.

Your mobile network provider is able to block
the use of lost or stolen mobile phones and
unblock recovered mobile phones on their
network.
Enable the PIN Security feature and keep
your Phone locked at all times
Your mobile phone SIM card will contain a
PIN that can help protect your phone from
unauthorised usage. Consider changing this
PIN when you first get the SIM card. Follow
the manufacturers instructions to change the
PIN.
Locking your mobile phone to your SIM
card
SIM-locking your mobile phone is a security
precaution that you can set (see user manual). When this feature is activated, a PIN will
have to be entered on the
handset keypad before it can
be used with another SIM
card. Activating this feature
will minimises unauthorised
use of your handset.
Locking your SIM card
Your SIM card also has a security feature
that requires a PIN to be entered each time
the mobile phone is turned on. Calls cannot
be made using your SIM card without entering this PIN (with the expectation of the
emergency numbers 112 and 999).

The PIN is for the SIM card only, not the mobile phone. So if the SIM is put into another phone, the PIN for the SIM card will need to be entered before any call is made. The SIM card is identified by the network by its electronic serial number-the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number. Unblocking your SIM card If you have entered you PIN incorrectly three times, your SIM card will become blocked. If this occurs, you will be required to obtain an unlock code, more commonly known as a PUK code (Personal Unblocking Key) from your mobile phone service provider.

Once you have entered the PUK code, your phone will ask you to create a new PIN number. When out and about, keep your mobile phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings. Never leave your mobile phone behind in an unattended vehicle. Property mark your phone with unique personal letters or numbers. Avoid making calls or texting on your phone while crossing the road. If making or receiving a mobile phone call in public, always do so with your back up against the wall or a shop window etc so that you can see around you and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind.If you a have a smart phone, consider downloading a location finder application

If your mobile phone is lost or stolen,
contact your mobile phone service provider immediately to suspend your service and prevent unauthorised calls being made and billed to you.
Your provider will block your SIM card
and IMEI number to prevent your phone
from being used on the mobile network.
Report the loss or theft to An Garda
Síochána, providing identification numbers for your SIM card and IMEI number.
This information may assist in the recovery of your mobile phone.

You have been warned folks!

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