I lost my unlocked mobile phone on a Sunday in a public place and despite all efforts failed to find it. Unable to trace as not set up.
I was unable to stop the sim as couldn't get through on a Sunday and no response to online form. I got through to Virgin mobile on the Monday morning and cancelled the sim, but since looking at my account records of use online, I see that there was internet usage every hour on the hour throughout the night and also regular usage the day before after missing but not on the hour.
Any ideas anyone? I don't do mobile banking but I'm worried about my data and identity theft. Will be much more careful with the next one!!
If it's got any identifiers for you and credentials for any online service there's the potential to reset passwords and capture accounts - eBay, Paypal, Amazon, Facebook, email etc. Because many accounts use weak two factor authentication that assumes that the person with your phone is you, it isn't difficult to do this. Then, if the thief changes (say) the Amazon password, the authnentication text comes through on your phone, and they click "yes, it's me". From there on it's easy to change delivery addresses, and if the service holds your bank details, they could be compromised through the thieves looking up account details, or if they can't view unredacted details, the thieves can just rely on Amazon etc to put through a card or direct debit payment for things they've ordered. This is made worse by some idiot companies like Paypal and eBay demanding users setup up diect debit arrangements supposedly "to verify identity". So even if you've never used eBay's direct debit payments, potentially there's still a DD sitting there waiting to be abused.
Email and Facebook accounts can be used for spamming, or even criminal to criminal communications, and internet access in your name can be used for all manner of illegal or undesirable activity, whether content is viewed on the phone, or using the phone as a disposable hotspot with your name on it
You should check all online accounts that might potentially have been compromised, report the phone lost to the police, and then systematically change all passwords. And even if you don't use the phone for banking, you should notify your bank, credit card providers etc so that they put a flag on your account to be particularly careful in respect of incoming calls, suspicious transactions and any attempts to open new accounts.
I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more
Have I helped? Click Mark as Helpful Answer or use Kudos to say thanks
Thank-you so much Andrew G for your very helpful and clear advice. I will definitely do everything you suggest. Unfortunately, I can't change my email password until I get my new phone and sim (with same mobile number) as I don't have a code and Microsoft want to verify my account with my mobile number. But I will do it asap. Many thanks again for taking the time to help me. You restore my faith in humanity!
Thank you for making your first post regarding your lost phone and the suspicious activity. I'm really sorry to hear that your phone was stolen and I understand your concerns regarding your data and identity theft.
Please do keep us posted on how you get on following the great advice from @Andrew-G and please do let me know if there's anything else you need.
the phoning home every hour is something all phones do afaik - its 4g or 5g i believe just checking in or something like that - theres lots of old threads on that where it used to rack up usage and take people over their data limit so VM then charged
i think the significance of it here is your old VM sim is still in the phone - i would have thought if VM had blocked or cancelled the sim it would not happen but not sure on that