Mind your mobile

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) runs a world-leading program that protects mobile phone users by blocking their handsets across all Australian networks if they are reported lost and stolen to their mobile service providers. Blocking a handset makes it inoperable, preventing its misuse and minimising call costs to the owner.

This service is  free to consumers and it works by blocking the handset's electronic serial number, known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). 

You can check the status of an IMEI number here. 


Top tips on  protecting your smartphone and the valuable information it contains:

  • Exercise common sense and caution – treat your smartphone as you would your wallet – and be careful about how you use it in public places. Never leave it in your car or lying around in a public place.
  • Use your smartphone's inbuilt PIN and password protections - find out what security options come with your device, enable them and use them.
  • Regularly back-up and save content such as contacts, photos, music or other important files so if you lose your device you don’t lose valuable information as well. You can save such data to a personal computer, USB or cloud service.
  • Investigate apps that may assist you with smartphone security. There are apps available that can help you track or locate your phone, erase information on your phone or even trigger an alarm or camera on your phone if it is stolen. Not every solution will suit every customer and it is important to remember that your personal safety should always come first.
  • Report thefts to the police and let them know if your smartphone has a tracking app that could help locate it. Most insurance policies will also require a police report for you to file a claim.
  • If your smartphone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile service provider immediately – just as you would if your credit card was stolen.  Your service provider can take action to ensure you won’t be hit with an unexpected bill and they can also block your phone across all mobile Australian mobile networks so that it can’t be used by anyone else. You can read more about AMTA’s Lost and Stolen IMEI blocking program and how it works here.
  • Take care if buying second-hand mobiles: Buying second-hand mobiles online or at auctions can be risky because they may have been reported lost or stolen, be IMEI blocked and do not work. Check the mobile’s status by entering the mobile’s IMEI number here. It only provides details of phones reported lost or stolen at the time of the inquiry. There can be a 72-hour lag between when a mobile is reported lost and stolen to the carrier and showing “blocked” on the website. If you buy a mobile that’s been reported lost or stolen and blocked, the carrier will not unblock it. All buyers of second-hand mobile phones should request proof of ownership at the time of purchase.

  • IMEI blocks only in Australia: IMEI blocking only applies to Australia and users must be connected to a carrier at the time of loss/theft. If you are travelling overseas and your phone is lost or stolen Australian mobile network operators cannot block the IMEI. You should still contact your Australian mobile service provider to block the SIM if your phone is lost or stolen while overseas to prevent a thief using your service and running up charges on your account.

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·        You can find more information about AMTA's Lost and Stolen program and how to block an IMEI here.

 

 

 

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