India is the third largest smartphone market in the world and the market still continues to grow every second. People change phones every 6 months. Roaming around with the latest gadgets has become the new definition of “cool.” With a smartphone in every second pocket, easily available buyers, and numerous platforms to sell, it is also a favourite accessory to steal.
In the NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau of India) reports, the number of stolen phones is so high that there is a separate subheading for mobile thefts. The latest reports show 37,878 stolen mobiles in 2014, of which 43% were from Delhi followed by Maharashtra(34.3%), Bengal(25.9%) and UP(35.7%). Only 9,055 or 23.9% of stolen phones were actually returned to their owners. The rest probably made it to the black market.
We often do not understand what we jeopardize when we lose a phone or sell it. Many of us commit the buffoonery of selling the phone without wiping the data. Others who do, think they are completely out of danger. We fail to realize that one can recover data very easily with tools easily available online. This means compromising our privacy, security, personal details, social media details, photographs etc. which are prone to misuse.
How do I report my stolen phone?
Furthermore, people often complain about the Police not registering their FIR of their lost or stolen phones. In this regard, the Centre has issued an advisory to all states for compulsory registration of FIR under Section 154 of CrPC. The National Telecom Policy of 2012 provided for facilitating the establishment of a National Mobile Property Registry for addressing security, theft and other issues. In this regard, every state must maintain a registry of Zonal Integrated Police Networks (ZIPNET) consisting of all IMEI numbers of lost/stolen phones.
A phone which was once stolen and then used to commit a crime may be available for sale today. Thus before buying a second-hand phone, we should always check the list of stolen/lost mobile phones on ZIPNET to ensure personal safety. Moreover, buying or selling phones is not a hassle-free task. Many have fallen prey to the complications attached. Act wisely and patiently before buying a used set or selling your old set.
Shaikh, Zeeshan. “37,878 Mobiles Stolen in 2014, 43% of them from Delhi.” The Indian Express 13 August. 2015: pg 8. Print.