Protect Yourself From Smartphone Thefts
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) It's becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, the theft of smartphones. The theft of a smartphone is being referred to as a modern day purse snatching. Just like the loss of a purse, the owner loses valuable information and in some cases, a device that's worth hundreds of dollars.
Lt. Craig Stotts is one of the millions of smartphone users. His advice is boiled down to one phrase, don't store personal information on your phone.
Stotts adds, "a lot of people carry these smartphones with their personal information on them, email addresses, they want to make sure their password protected, but also make sure that personal information isn't on there."
The police department has received 37 reports of stolen cell phones and petit theft calls this year.
"Where I think we're seeing nationwide is the robbery kind of thefts where they use force to get those phones from people...they're going to trade them, going to sell them, or they're going to get information they need off of them and they get rid of them," claims Stotts.
Verizon customers can purchase insurance for their phone and they also have the option of suspending service right from the website.
Bob Kelley, Spokesman for Verizon says, "what that does is that it disconnects the phone until you choose to reconnect service. That will prevent anyone who comes into possession of your phone to be able to use it."
If you want to lock your phone first and wipe your contacts, there's an app for that.
"A mobile recovery application, that is an app that will allow you to lock your device and wipe your contacts before suspending service even if the device is not in your possession," adds Kelley.
Overall treat your smartphone, like you treat your money...out of sight, out of the wrong hands.
Each year the cost of stolen cell phones is estimated to be in the billions, but there is no precise number on how many are actually stolen.