First and foremost, if your lost device happens to be an iPhone, log into your iCloud account and use the “Find My iPhone” feature. And while it may seem like an unnecessary step that causes you more trouble than anything, set a passcode to use your phone combined with making sure you have Find My iPhone set up on your device.
Distinct Options With Different Service Providers
If you have a device other than an iPhone, you are going to most likely need to use a third party phone locator service. This is something that will require you to be proactive, but it will definitely be worth your time and effort if you ever find yourself in this situation where you need to recover your lost iPhone. For those on Android devices, Google has added a phone locator service, included with its Android Device Manager that will show your device’s location on a map, as well as giving you the ability to ring it and even wipe its memory. Windows Phone users also have a built-in phone locator service, and you can find detailed instructions for using it online.
Trace Your Steps
While it seems like common sense, it’s worth a mention. Think back to where you were when you last used it or had it, specifically. Think about what you did immediately following that moment, too. Look up the phone number of wherever you were last and see if you can call them to ask if they’ve seen it, or if they have a lost & found.
Call Your Carrier
Next, contact your carrier to report that the phone is lost. You’ll probably want to have them deactivate your phone so that no charges can be racked up on it. The only drawback to this is that you’ll have to wait until you activate another phone, and you won’t even be able to access your voicemail, however it’s really a small price to pay to save yourself from who knows what. While you have your carrier on the phone, have them check to see if any activity has occurred on your phone since you noticed it missing. The answer to this could give you a clue as to the disposition of your phone.
File a Police Report
The police, no matter where you are, need your phone or tablet’s unique IMEI number to verify a device is not only yours, but so it can also be added to that country’s national database. If you do not have your IMEI number written down, it will be with the original box, if you still have it. If you’re unable to locate it, call your carrier. They should be able to provide you with it.
Order a New Phone
And relax. You’ve survived worse, and you’ll pull through this one, too.