Did the robber flee with your cellphone on your way to school or work? Did your phone fall out on the taxi seat and when you called it nobody picked up?
It is so easy to lose a cellphone and it is stressful to think of a stranger having access to your information, photos and contacts. Don’t panic! You might not get your cellphone back BUT there is a way of making it useless to the stranger who has it.
Follow these steps to blacklist your phone:
1. Inform your network provider – Phone your network provider to have your SIM card blocked so that whoever has your phone will not be able to use your SIM card to make phone calls, send texts or use mobile data.
• Vodacom: Dial 111 from a Vodacom number or 082-111 from a landline
• Cell C: Dial 140 from a Cell C number or 084-140 from other cellphone networks.
• MTN: Dial 808(contract) or 173 (pre-paid) from a MTN number or 083-1-173 from other cellphone networks or a landline.
2. Report the theft to the nearest police station – Bring the documents confirming the purchase of the cellphone and IMEI number. The police will open a case and supply you with a case number. This step is very important because you need a case number to blacklist your cellphone.
3. Know your phone’s serial number (IMEI) – It is important that you know your cellphone’s IMEI before you lose it. Dial *#06# on your cellphone and it will be displayed on your screen or remove your cellphone’s battery and look inside the cellphone. IMEI is usually a 14 or 15-digit number.
If you have lost your cellphone and you do not know your IMEI number, call your network provider and they will be able to supply you with your IMEI number. However, you need to tell them your phone number before they can help you.
4. Contact your service provider again – Provide your network provider your SAPS case number and IMEI number requesting them to blacklist your phone.
Your cellphone becomes useless when you blacklist its IMEI number. No one can use it, regardless of the SIM card or country.
Note: The network providers may be unwilling to block the IMEI numbers if the cellphone was second-hand. Do not buy a stolen cellphone.
Keep your cellphone safe. Do not show off your phone in public or walk with it visible in your pocket. Be aware when you speak on the phone in a public place and check that you have it before you get off public transport or leave that coffee with a friend.