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What to do if your iPhone is Stolen

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 8/10/2010

Here are a few things to do in the unfortunate situation of a stolen iPhone.

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    Steal This Phone

    The iPhone is not a cheap personal device, and any kind of damage or loss can be catastrophic. It may seem difficult for a thief to actually use your iPhone if they were to steal it, but the market for the iPhone is so electrified that the black market has seen an equally large boost. If you are unlucky enough to actually find your iPhone lost or stolen there are a few things you should do.

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    Planning Ahead

    Ahead of time you may want to protect your iPhone just a little bit, especially if you feel like you are at risk of having your iPhone stolen. Make sure to put an Auto-Lock on your iPhone, and you may want to take the option for a more complicated iPhone Passcode instead of the standardized four digit one. You can also put in the self destruct mode that will actually delete everything from your iPhone if someone unsuccessfully tries to enter in your iPhone Passcode ten times. This should be the last resort as it can actually cause you a series of problems. This self destruct mode is going to be most important if you include sensitive information and content on your iPhone.

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    When It Is Stolen

    When you first realize that your iPhone has gone missing, and you have called it from several different numbers and do not find anyone answering you should immediately call AT&T at 1-800-331-0500. At this phone number you can report the stolen iPhone, and then you should make a police report. The police report may seem excessive, but with the huge prices on iPhones this is going to be completely reasonable. Unfortunately, both AT&T and Apple have been notorious for not helping to track down stolen iPhones or iPods. The best option for finding a stolen iPhone is to work fast and utilize your Mobile Me account. The Find My iPhone app, which is a free iPhone application released by Apple, is an app that will locate your iPhone from a computer location. What will happen is that if you have found that you have lost your iPhone, or had it stolen, you can then utilize Find My iPhone on another iPhone to find your phone. You can then locate your iPhone on a map, as well as offering an alarm on your iPhone. This will give you a place to go to find the party that may have stolen your iPhone, and you can immediately give that information to the police. You will also have the option to set a passcode on your iPhone remotely, which can help you put on the safeguards you should have used before the iPhone was stolen. This will stand out as your best bet for finding a stolen iPhone, but even in this situation finding a stolen iPhone is unlikely.

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    iPhone Stolen: Do I still need to pay Internet fee?

    If you have Apple Care on your iPhone then you are going to have the best option for getting a new one after your iPhone is stolen, but you are likely going to have to pay the cost that you did when you signed your contract. Canceling a contract is much more complicated, so it is better to just purchase a new iPhone and continue service. Make sure that service to that specific iPhone is cut off when you realize it is stolen, and then try to replace it so you can maximize your remaining contract. If the service is not canceled then you will have to continue to pay your internet fee, even if the thief is actually using it.