What would make someone a thief?

Lost mobile phone: block it, report it!

According to the BSI, around 600 cell phones and smartphones are stolen every day in Germany. If your cell phone is gone, that's not only annoying, because there is a lot of private data on the devices. Theft of a cell phone can also quickly become expensive. If you do not have your SIM card blocked by the network operator immediately, there is also the risk that thieves will generate hefty bills with your smartphone. The expensive surprise then follows with the next phone bill.

In the case of ongoing contracts in particular, you often have to dig deeper into your pockets for a replacement device, since without a contract, the subsidy for the cell phone is usually not applicable.

We give tips on how to avoid the hassle and costs of a cell phone theft.

Cell phone gone - how to prevent it properly

  1. Make a note of important numbers
    In order to have your mobile device blocked by the provider in an emergency, the following information is usually required:
    - Cell phone number
    - SIM card number
    - Customer number / customer password

    If you cannot find the phone number of your provider, you can also use the blocking hotline 116 116 (from abroad: +49 30 4050 4050). To make a note of the card number, you can remove the SIM card from the mobile phone - ideally before using it for the first time. Because if you have already noted the necessary information to hand, you will be prepared more quickly for an emergency.
    In addition: If you have noted your landline number or e-mail address on your mobile phone and lose your smartphone, you have the chance to be notified by an honest finder. Many smartphones offer the option of saving a corresponding text via the settings, which is also displayed when the screen lock is activated.
  2. Find out the IMEI number
    Every mobile phone can use its 15-digit serial number, the so-called IMEI number, be identified. The abbreviation IMEI stands for I.nternational M.obile S.tation E.quipment I.dentity. If you report your smartphone to the police as stolen, the officers will need your device's IMEI number.

    To find out your phone's IMEI number, type the key code *#06# (Star-diamond-zero-six-diamond) into the mobile phone display as if you were trying to make a call. The IMEI will then appear on your screen. Make a note of this number and keep it ready to hand. With some devices, the IMEI number is also on the packaging or in the mobile phone contract.
  3. Lock and locate smartphones
    You can use almost all smartphones locate remotely, Send messages to the smartphone, delete data on the device or lock the device itself. The providers Apple, Google and Microsoft offer these possibilities for their operating systems iOS, Android and Google and often also the mobile phone manufacturers. Many other providers also offer additional apps that can take on this task and have some additional functions. Take photos of the thief trying to unlock the screen, for example.
    It is best to familiarize yourself with these options immediately after using the new device.
  4. Back up data regularly
    Whether photos or contacts - a lot of personal data is stored on your smartphone. In order not to lose it if your cell phone is stolen, you should have yours Back up data regularly. This function can also be taken over by the operating systems and anti-theft apps.
  5. Use the screen lock function
    Secure your smartphone with a PIN or screen lock. Otherwise, when the smartphone is switched on, a thief can immediately access all of your data and functions. PIN security and screen lock also prevent the thief from continuing to use the device with a new SIM card.

SOS Handy Card helps in the event of loss

In order to always have the necessary cell phone data at hand when reporting a loss, we offer an SOS cell phone card. You can write down the most important information on this document. The card fits in every wallet. Here you can download the SOS mobile phone card free of charge.

Get started when your smartphone is gone

  • Call cell phone
    Maybe the device is still nearby. Sometimes you can use it to locate the thief as well.
  • delete data
    If there is important data on the device, delete it remotely. Note, however, that these features are only available when your smartphone is unlocked and not turned off. Therefore, only then call the blocking hotline of your contractual partner.
  • Call customer service
    To have your mobile phone's SIM card blocked, contact the customer service department of your network provider or provider. There are special blocking hotlines for this, but blocking is usually also possible by email or fax.
    It is advisable that you always have your device locked in the presence of a witness. Note that not all providers can block the card for free.
  • Get a replacement cell phone and card
    If your cell phone is gone, you can either buy a new device or use a used cell phone. A subsidized device is usually only available if you conclude a two-year contract when you buy it.
    To be able to make calls again, you also need a new SIM card. You can order these from the respective network operator or provider. The cost of the replacement card varies depending on the provider. The term of a concluded contract is not changed by purchasing a replacement card and the phone number remains the same.


Also Prepaid cell phones should be blocked, with some providers you can get into the red.

Is it worth taking out cell phone insurance?

The normal household contents insurance only pays if your cell phone is stolen in the event of a burglary in your home or a robbery. If there is an insured event, the theft (with IMEI number) must be reported to the police in any case.

Special mobile phone insurance is actually only worthwhile for very high-quality devices. Here you should make sure that the insurance cover also exists abroad.

We have summarized for you in a separate article whether and when device insurance for smartphones and tablets is worthwhile.

The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has summarized further safety information for mobile internet-enabled devices for you here.

Cyber ​​security² - lost your cell phone?

Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) / Consumer Advice Center NRW

This content was created by the joint editorial team in cooperation with the Rhineland-Palatinate consumer center for the network of consumer centers in Germany.