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Stolen Phone? 4 Steps to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Victor Odogwu
Published: April 13, 2024

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Losing your phone can be a nightmare in today’s world where our lives are so deeply intertwined with these devices. More than just an inconvenience, a stolen phone puts you at risk of identity theft and financial fraud.

If you’re a victim, don’t panic – take these 4 crucial steps immediately to safeguard your data and money.

 

1.      Act Fast to Report Your Stolen Phone or Device

The moment you realize your phone is missing, quickly report it as lost or stolen to your network provider. They can disable your SIM and block unauthorized access to your mobile number and data. Also, have your NIN handy as your network provider will be needing it to retrieve your number. Many banks also have hotlines and USSD codes to promptly report lost devices linked to your accounts.

 

2.      Change All Important Passwords

With so much sensitive information stored on our phones, a stolen device is an open invitation for criminals. Immediately change the passwords for your email, banking apps, mobile money transfers, and other critical accounts accessible from your missing phone.

 

3.      Enable Remote Tracking or Wipe Data

If you have enabled Google’s “Find My Device” or other tracking apps, you may be able to remotely locate, lock, or even wipe the data from your lost phone. Apps like “Cerberus” for Android offer robust anti-theft protection worth exploring. Just make sure to change passwords for any accounts linked to that old device.

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4.      Be Vigilant for Suspicious Activity

Closely monitor your bank statements, email inbox, and credit reports in the following weeks for any unauthorized transactions or identity theft attempts. Scammers can use stolen phones for financial crimes like:

  • Making fraudulent bank transfers from your accounts
  • Taking out loans using your identity details
  • Accessing and misusing your BVN and other personal data

Promptly report any suspicious activity to your bank and law enforcement authorities.

 

Protect yourself by staying vigilant after a phone theft. Be smart, act quickly, and don’t let criminals compromise your finances and identity. We’re here to support you through such stressful situations.

Secure your finances on the go. Download the OneBank app to enable biometrics, and get real-time transaction alerts.

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