Theft of mobile phones 

My mobile phone has been stolen. What should I do?

Contact your mobile provider. They can ensure that your SIM is barred from working and your handset is blocked across Spark’s, Vodafone’s and 2degree’s networks. This can usually be done within 24 hours.

The phone numbers to call are:

  • Vodafone - 0800 800 021
  • Spark - 123
  • 2degrees - 0800 022 022

This means that no one will be able to use the mobile phone on any of the three major mobile networks – even if they switch to a different provider or change the SIM.

You should also report the theft to the Police, as they may be able to investigate the matter and find the thief.

What can I do to keep my mobile phone safe?

The following tips are provided by NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF):

  • If you lose your phone or you think it has been stolen, report this as soon as possible to your mobile provider and the Police.
  • Avoid leaving your phone on the table at the pub or café, and don’t have it hanging out of your pocket. 
  • Put a pin, password or other form of security on your phone and set it to automatically lock, so that only you can access calling, texting and other applications. 
  • Only purchase new or second hand phones from trustworthy sources – such as registered mobile dealers. 
  • Install an application like Find My Phone, which will allow you to track the phone over WiFi if you lose it .

You can find more advice on the Waikato University website and the NetSafe website.

I bought a mobile phone for a good price, but it turns out it was stolen!

If your newly purchased phone was stolen goods, you might find that it doesn’t work because it has been blocked (see the previous question). Unless you can persuade the seller to give you a refund, there’s not much you can do to get the money back.

It’s probably a good idea to report the stolen item to the Police, who may be interested in information that leads them to the thief.

If you are in the market for a mobile phone, it is wise to stick to buying from a registered dealer.