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What to Do if Your Phone is Stolen on Holiday

Holiday phone theft is a big problem. Phones are often moved to another location to be wiped or sold for parts

Published by Claire Broadley

All of us think that it’ll never happen. But inevitably, it will. In an unfamiliar place, relaxed by sunshine and a few drinks, your phone is stolen from under your nose.

Holiday phone theft is a big problem.

Travel brand eShores found that one-third of British tourists have had valuables stolen on holiday. They also found that 44% of these thefts occurred on beach holidays, where sunshine and alcohol are useful distractions.


If you’ve had your phone stolen, you’ll know how quickly and professionally it’s done. One minute your phone’s on the table in front of you. You go to check your Facebook 10 minutes later, and it’s gone.

Phone Security on Holiday

Unfortunately, software locks don’t always guarantee that your data will be safe. So back up precious data, like your photos, before you leave. Consider removing things like payment apps or bitcoin wallets, making a backup on a device you leave safely at home.

Update all of the security software on your phone, and ensure that the operating system is up-to-date.

When you’re out and about, be aware of people wary of people coming into your personal space, asking for directions, or handing you signs that you don’t understand.

In your resort, leave your phone in your safe. Ensure you alone know the number, or carry the key.

You should always keep your phone in a zipped bag that is carried to your front, particularly in busy areas where people are likely to walk directly behind you. Don’t carry phones in back pockets or open bags; a belt under your clothes is far more secure.



Finally, be careful when you’re out and about in restaurants or busy transport hubs. If you have children with you, the thief will know that you’ll be spending more time watching them than your valuables. So unless you have your phone in your hand, it should always be out of sight.

My Phone’s Been Stolen; Now What?

Most phones are taken out of the area by the thief and immediately switched off. They’re then moved to another location to be wiped or sold for parts.

The immediate aftermath of a phone theft can be confusing as you try to figure out what to do to prevent this. In reality, there isn’t much you can do.

First, immediately call your network provider back home, and block your SIM card. If you have iCloud or some other security software, erase the data, or lock the phone.

You probably aren’t going to get your phone back, so it makes sense to remove your personal information.

You can track your phone’s location if you have certain types of security software installed. However, it’s not a good idea to chase down a thief to get a phone back. It’s likely that they are not operating alone.

Finally, all thefts on holiday should be reported to the local police. In practice, they probably won’t do much to help you get your phone back, but it’s worth logging the crime for insurance purposes -- just in case you can claim for your device.

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