Lost Phone: What To Do If Your Phone Gets Lost or Stolen

 By: Stephanie Perez


We have all had that moment during a festival when our eyes widened and we began to fret looking for our phones. Most times you ended up giving it to a friend to hold and you can finally breathe again. However, if you find yourself in a frenzy and cannot find your phone it could be that you have lost it or it was stolen. Trust me, I have been there and it is one of the worst feelings. I am here to help you all through this process of losing a phone (which I hope doesn’t happen to you.) Read on to the end for some pointers on how to secure your new phone! 

 

lost phone festival
1. Take a Deep Breath 

It’s hard not to freak out when you cannot find your phone. During this moment take a few deep breaths to collect yourself. Once you’ve done that try to think about the last time you remember using or seeing your phone. If you’re alone, reach out to a person near you and ask them to call your phone. If it rings and someone answers it you can mutually agree to a meeting point (like the ferris wheel) and they can return it back to you. Remember to either take someone's phone with you in case you cannot find them. If it’s off or no one answers it, this could be a sign that it was stolen. The next few moments are critical in preventing whoever has your phone from accessing its contents. 

2. Use “Find my Device” 


Whether your phone rings or is cut off, if you are still having trouble locating it go ahead and ask to borrow someone's phone. Use the finder app for your phone, such as Find My iPhone, Google Find My Device, or Samsung Find My Mobile. Once you’ve logged into the app there will be instructions on how to find your phone on a map. If you are able to see the location of your phone and it is not moving you can attempt to locate it. If you are uncertain of the location be sure to bring a security guard with you in case it is in someone else’s possession. If your phone is visible and moving, or not visible, this could mean it has been stolen. At this point you want to turn on Activation Lock  which should be automatically enabled when you turn on “Find My iPhone.” This prevents others from viewing the contents of the phone. After, you can turn on the Lost Mode feature. If you know that your phone was stolen you also have the option to perform a remote erase of your contents. 


report stolen phone
3. Call your Cellular Provider/Bank 

I recommend doing this as soon as you can only because you don’t know if someone has access to make calls or text via your phone. If they do they can call long distance causing a surcharge on your phone bill. Let them know you would like to temporarily suspend the device to do it being stolen. If your phone did not have a password, make sure you call your bank to cancel current credit cards that you had saved on your phone. 

 

4. Enjoy the Rest of the Festival 


It is overwhelming losing your phone especially at a festival. After you have taken the time to do the steps above all you can do is wait it out and see if your phone turns up. Enjoy the time you have left at the festival and check out your favorite artists. It’s easier said than done, but with the right mindset you can still have an amazing time with your friends. At the end of the festival make sure to stop at lost and found to see if someone happened to turn in your phone. I would do this each day the event is going on. Also, don’t forget to check out the festivals instagram/facebook page to see if anyone has posted your phone on there! 


lost and found festival
5. File a Police Report 

Some telephone companies require a police report to remove any unknown charges on your phone. For the police report they tend to ask for the phone's serial number. You can access this on your find my phone app or your google account. If an officer finds your phone they will contact you and return the phone back to you. 

 

6. Tips to Help you Not Lose your Phone 


Losing a phone causes a lot of different emotions, whether related to money, security, or just stress due to the situation. For any phone I recommend having a passcode that is not easily accessible. This helps protect any information you may have on the phone and gives you time to lock the account/delete items before someone gets to it. What someone doesn’t want on top of losing their phones is losing all their information/pictures. Make sure that you have your phone automatically set up for backups. 


For some individuals leaving your phone at the place you are staying at for the festival might be the best option. During the festival you can also give your phone to someone in your group you trust. Make sure that you place your phone somewhere that is not easily accessible. Use zippered pockets, a chest rig, a fanny pack, hydration packs that have zippers that open from the inside. Check out this backpack or this fanny pack. I hope this helps you all and have a wonderful festival season! 

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