What to Do if Your iPhone is Stolen: Guide

Is your iPhone Stolen and Not Know What to Do Next. Here is the Guide you can Follow to Get Back your Stolen iPhone Immediately.

Did someone steal your iPhone? It is a perplexing experience to lose your phone which is your daily driver and happens to be an expensive device. You have personal data and banking cards connected to your Apple account. You would not want that info to fall into the wrong hands.

Don’t lose your hope yet. In this guide, I have compiled a few actions you can take to safeguard the data on the iPhone. You can also erase all the local data present on your iPhone. Along with that, you must make sure to report the theft to the nearest law and order authorities to maximize your chances of getting back your iPhone.

Things to Do When Your iPhone is Stolen

Here are the measures you should take to lock your iPhone, erase its data, and mark it as lost.

Activating Lost Mode on iPhone

If you lose your iPhone somewhere and a good samaritan finds it, then the lost mode might prompt the person to return it to you.

To enable lost mode on your iPhone,

  1. Open a browser on your PC.
  2. Go to Apple Find Devices.
  3. Sign in by using your Apple ID credentials.
    sign into Apple account
  4. Under All Devices, click on your iPhone model.
    click on iPhone model name in Find My
  5. Click on Mark As Lost.
    mark iPhone as lost
  6. Provide a phone number so that if someone finds your iPhone can contact you to return the lost item.
    enable lost mode on an iPhone
  7. After entering the phone number, click on Next to confirm and complete the steps to mark the iPhone as lost.

If you have misplaced your phone in your house and cannot find it, instead of Marking it as lost, select Play a Sound. If the iPhone has some battery left and it is still on, it will play a sound. That will help you discover. However, this method is not useful when your iPhone gets stolen.

Erase Local Data on iPhone

When your iPhone is stolen, the chances of you getting it back are pretty slim. Locking the device can stop petty thieves from accessing your iPhone data who may not have the technical proficiency to break into an otherwise secure iPhone.

However, there may be expert device hackers who could break into your phone and access any personal information that you have stored on your iPhone. The safest bet for you is to erase all the data on your iPhone from the Find Device.

  1. Open a browser on your PC
  2. Go to Apple Find Devices.
  3. Sign in by using your Apple ID credentials.
    sign into Apple account
  4. Click on your iPhone model under All Devices.
    click on iPhone model name in Find My
  5. Next, click on Erase This Device.
    erase your iPhone
  6. To confirm the device erasing, enter your Apple ID and password when instructed.

Tracking the Stolen iPhone

You can track the stolen iPhone as long as its battery lasts. Once the battery dies, you will lose access to the iPhone’s live location. While the battery is left, you can pinpoint the approximate location of the stolen device and take the help of the police to find it.

  1. Go to Find My website on your PC browser.
  2. Sign into your Apple account.
    sign into Apple account
  3. Select your iPhone from All Devices to see its current location.
    how to locate a stolen iPhone

Remove the Banking Cards Connected to your iPhone

If the thieves get access to your iPhone, they may misuse the banking cards connected to your Apple Wallet. So, you should remove the debit/credit cards you have linked to your stolen iPhone.

  1. Open the browser on your PC.
  2. Access your Apple account by logging in to your Apple ID.
    sign into Apple iCloud account
  3. On the left panel, click on Devices and select your iPhone model.
  4. Under the section Wallet & Apple Pay, click on Remove Items to de-link the Apple Cash or any credit/debit card connected to the iPhone.

Report the Theft to Police

Once you have locked your iPhone and erased its data, you should also report the theft to the police. Go to the nearby police station and register a complaint. If your phone has sufficient battery and it has not been switched off, the police should be able to track it.

Often out of ignorance victims of phone theft do not report the incident of phone snatching. That is a mistake you should not do. In case, later the police manage to catch the culprits and they still have your iPhone, that can be recovered.

file a police complaint for stolen iPhone

While the chances of you getting back your iPhone from unknown muggers are slim, at least reporting the crime will help police look out for such thieves. Also, other phone users will be alert of such phone snatchers.

Raise an Alarm on Social Media

When your iPhone gets stolen, there is a high chance that your phone will be sold somewhere. The thief knows the iPhone is locked and cannot access it. Most likely, the thief will try to sell it on a web platform such as Facebook marketplace, eBay, or Etsy for a quick buck.

You have to post on social media regarding your iPhone theft with the color and physical details of the iPhone. If anyone encounters any second-hand iPhone sale ad on such marketplace that resembles your iPhone, they will contact you.

alert on social media for stolen iPhone

Usually, such thieves who sell a stolen iPhone dubbing them as second hand, won’t have any details of the iPhone such as IMEI, or other purchase details. They will only pitch by saying the iPhone model and quoting an amount. They will be in a rush to sell the product and will constantly nag the buyer to pay. It is a classic tell-tale sign of a scam.

They won’t even have the original pack of the iPhone as they have stolen it. So, once some honest person notifies you of such an advertisement on any e-market, you can contact the seller(probably the thief) or involve the police. You may even report to the concerned platform to blacklist the seller.

File an iPhone Replacement Claim with Apple Care+

If you live in a region that supports iPhone theft and loss coverage by filing a claim you may get a replacement iPhone from Apple. To know more about the entire process and submit your claim click here.

file a claim for stolen iPhone

Here is the list of countries that currently support Apple Care+

  • United States
  • Austria
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Norway
  • Chile
  • Denmark
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Finland

Bonus Tip: Remove iPhone from iCloud Devices

Once you have filed a claim for iPhone replacement with Apple, you can remove the stolen iPhone from iCloud.

  1. Open the PC browser and log into your Apple ID.
    sign into Apple iCloud account
  2. On the left-hand side, click on Devices and select your stolen iPhone.
  3. Click on Remove from Account.
    remove iPhone from iCloud account

Bottom Line

It is an unfortunate event to lose your iPhone to theft. Instead of panicking, follow the guide to lock your device, erase data on it, and de-link the credit cards associated with it. Also, positively report the iPhone theft to the police.

You may not get your iPhone back. At least you can keep your data secure by removing it from your iPhone and locking out the thieves from accessing it. File for an iPhone replacement with Apple to get a new iPhone.

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Swayam Prakash
Swayam is a professional content creator with 6-years of experience in conceptualizing, creating, and managing tech-based content for notable online publishing firms. At DigitBin, he creates quality-rich and simple content related to Windows OS, Android, iOS, social media, cloud computing, and other general consumer technology. Contact Me on Linkedin

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