Dubai: Nowadays, your phone contains almost everything – work contacts, family photos, credit cards and even important documents like your Emirates ID and driving licence. The possibility of losing all this can be a stressful experience but if you do find yourself in this position, there are some steps that you can take to secure your data and increase your chances of recovering your phone.
Not only should you report the lost phone to your telecom service provider, but you should also file a police complaint. Here are the details.
Block your mobile phone number immediately
In a recent online post, the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) advised people to immediately contact their telecom service provider to block their mobile number:
• For etisalat by e& call 101 or visit the nearest service centre.
• For du customers call 155 or visit the nearest service centre.
For Virgin Mobile users - open the 'Virgin Mobile' app and on the top right corner of the app, there is an icon with a question mark. Tap the icon and select the 'Send us a message' option. This leads to the app's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If you need a specific question answered, you can directly send a message through the chat function.
While reporting your lost or stolen phone, you must provide specific information including your personal details, the time and location of where you lost your phone and any device specifications that you can provide.
This will ensure your mobile phone number and SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card is blocked and prohibited from being used. This will prevent unauthorised calls, messages and data usage.
What happens when you report a lost phone in the UAE?
When the theft or loss is reported, the service provider will confirm the details and ask for customer approval to initiate a blocking process for the device, according to a public service announcement made by TDRA in 2023.
Your service provider will then add the device's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to the blacklisted devices database. Within 24 hours of the report, your mobile phone will be blocked from accessing any network.
Once the device is found, it will take 24 hours for your phone to be unlocked, in order for it to be used again.
File a lost item report with the police
If you have lost any valuable items in the UAE, like your smartphone, watch, wallet or passport, you must report it to the police.
Here is how to do it for each emirate:
To report a missing item in Dubai, you must apply for the ‘Lost Certificate’, through the Dubai Police app – ‘Dubai Police’, which is available for both Apple and Android devices. Or you can visit the Smart Police Station (SPS) or log on to the Dubai Police website – dubaipolice.gov.ae. You also have the option to call Dubai Police’s non-emergency number – 901.
Abu Dhabi Police:
To report a lost item in the emirate, you must download the ‘TAMM’ app, which is the Abu Dhabi government’s official online portal for government services. Access the ‘Request to Report Lost Items’ service and provide details of the lost item and where it was last seen. You can also contact the Abu Dhabi Police customer centre – 8003333.
In Sharjah, you can contact Sharjah Police’s non-emergency number – 901 to report lost or stolen items or visit the nearest police station.
You can also use the Ministry of Interior (MOI) app ‘MOI UAE’, which is available for Apple and Android devices, and file a lost item report.
For Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah
You can file a report online through the ‘MOI UAE’ app, or you can call the customer service centre – 800 5000. Also, Ras Al Khaimah Police and Ajman Police have a non-emergency number – 901, that residents can call if they have lost or stolen items.
Left something in the bus, taxi or Dubai Metro? Here’s how to report a lost item:
If you forgot your phone, laptop, or handbag while using public transportation, here are the numbers you should call:
• For Dubai Metro or bus– 800 9090
• For Sharjah taxi or bus – 600 525252
• For Ajman taxi or bus – 600 599997
• For Abu Dhabi Taxi – 600 535353
• For Abu Dhabi buses – 800850
• For Ras Al Khaimah taxi and bus - 800 1700
Bonus tip for recovery: Use the ‘Find My Device’ service for your phone
If you have an Android phone, use the ‘Find My Device’ app or if you are an Apple user use the ‘Find My’ service to locate your phone on a map. You can even remotely play a sound, lock it, or erase data for added security.
Additionally, try retracing your steps and contacting nearby businesses where you might have lost your phone could be helpful.