Teen Killed After Tracking Down Lost Smartphone; What To Do If You Lose Yours

Mobile / Tech

A Canadian teen was fatally shot after he lost his smartphone and used a tracking application to locate it. Jeremy Cook was shot multiple times when he and a relative approached a vehicle in a mall parking lot early Sunday morning in an attempt to recover it. After the shooting, the suspects fled and Cook’s phone was found near their abandoned vehicle.

Police in London, Ontario – where the incident occurred – advised people to be extremely careful when using tracking apps to locate lost smartphones.

“The app is not what makes the scenario dangerous — it is the human beings or the people you interact with,” Const. Ken Steeves told CTV News Channel. “So, our advice is if there is any indication of violence, or of potential violence, just give us a call … and we’ll attend.”

Carmi Levy, a technology analyst added that everybody needs to be aware of potential risks when attempting to recover a lost smartphone.

“Unfortunately kids seem to think their phones are incredibly valuable – they’re not. It’s a couple of hundred bucks to replace it – certainly not worth your life.”

This unfortunate and senseless tragedy is a reminder to everyone that even though there are more ways for the average person to track and find lost devices, it is better to go to police with that information and have them attempt to recover it for you. Following these simple steps could save your life:

  • Knowing your IMEI (international mobile equipment identification number) will allow you to provide it to your service provider and/or police in the event your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Contact your wireless service provider immediately after losing your phone. In some cases they will be able to help you remote wipe your device. In Canada, the phone will also be added to the national blacklist which will prevent it from working on any Canadian wireless network.
  • Contact local law enforcement and file a police report, be sure to include your IMEI. While police probably won’t actively search for your device, if they come across it they can match the IMEI to the report and return the device to you.
  • Whatever you do, if you think you have tracked your phone’s location do NOT visit the location you think it may be located at. Instead, call police and they may be able to assist in the retrieval of your device.
  • Lastly, it’s a phone. Losing a phone and eating the cost to replace it is a much safer idea than the potential for harm while trying to recover it.

Have you had any experience tracking down and recovering a lost smartphone? Let us know how it went in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: CTV News
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