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Smartphone Thefts Rise Sharply

Submitted by on October 22, 2012 – 8:21 amOne Comment

Don’t be stupid with your smartphone. That’s the message that police departments across the country are spreading as thefts of the devices continue to spike, becoming the most common and even majority of all thefts in some cities.

The AP reports that almost half of all thefts in tech-savvy San Francisco are smartphones. (In New York, it’s also more than 40%.) The article highlights that public transportation is a popular spot for the thefts, providing criminals lots of cover, many opportunities, and a quick getaway. But more determined crooks can engage in armed muggings for the devices as well.

Politicians are suggesting national databases of stolen phones, and even a nationwide system that would remotely shut down stolen devices, rendering them useless. But until then, users will just have to play it safe and use some common sense.

While identity theft involving the personal information on the phone is a concern, the article does seem to acknowledge that the main purpose behind most of the thefts is resale, not personal data. While a credit card might be a bigger score, it’s much easier and less risky to ditch the device’s SIM card immediately to prevent tracking, and hawk it at any number of re-sellers.

[via Gizmodo]

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