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Here’s an iPhone Theft Trend Users Need to Be Aware Of.

iPhone Theft

Here’s an alarming iPhone theft trend that police are learning about, and victims too. It has to do with your iPhone’s passcode…the numbers you key in to unlock the phone.Here are some invaluable safety tips for those who have an iPhone, and who are active and actively on their phones:

  • Hold on to your iPhone. Tightly.
  • Also, make sure you unlock your phone primarily by using FaceID or touch.
  • Finally, and this is the most important part, if you have to enter your passcode to unlock your iPhone, do it in a bathroom stall, or on top of the roof or sitting in your car…alone.

Here’s why.

Criminals are noticing (capturing) iPhone passwords, then stealing phones (right out of your hands) and then stealing your money and memories. They don’t look like “criminals”—they look like nice people.   

Sounds unlikely? Not where you live?

Well, it may not be commonplace, but unfortunately it is becoming more common in some places, especially in bigger cities, when people are having a good time.

Imagine this situation…before this actually happens.

Could you imagine this scenario happening? That someone you met had quietly, sneakily stolen your iPhone from you. Of course, you didn’t know it was happening or could see it coming.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

Then imagine this: once you ultimately realized your phone was indeed gone and missing, and after you started trying to get it back, you discover some things that shock you.

  • You have somehow been locked out of your own iPhone/iCloud accounts.
  • You come to find out you have bank accounts or digital money accounts that have been emptied.
  • A new Apple Pay account has been opened with your phone, and an Apple credit card and they have new, huge outstanding balances.
  • A few of your other bank accounts were emptied out.

The worse thing? There’s little you can do. Your iPhone is gone. Gone forever.

Real accounts of iPhones being stolen.

In a Wall Street Journal article from February of this year, they cited a handful of actual incidents where people who were enjoying a night out became victims of criminals on the prowl. Here’s a couple of examples:

  • One woman in Manhattan, New York, had her iPhone snatched out of her hand as she was leaving a bar after work. Within no time, the thief had locked her out of her Apple accounts, and she was $10,000 poorer.
  • A creative professional went out for drinks with his girlfriend after work while visiting Minneapolis. They made some new friends and had a great time. When he went to leave, he couldn’t find his iPhone. We figured to check things out the next morning. By then, has password had been changed, his Venmo account was drained for $1,500 and thousands had been charged to a handful of credit cards.
  • Another victim reported that his iPhone was stolen. Thieves had accessed his bank apps and Venmo, and had stolen money and made fraudulent charges. He said it happened because he was drugged while at a New York bar the previous night.

The question is…why is this happening and why this general method? Need to say password…

The iPhone theft trend. How criminals target their victims.

You’re out with a group of friends…maybe it’s a social get-together, a hangout at bar or a networking event. Lots of people, fun, strangers, conversation and alcohol too.

You meet plenty of new people, and one group asks you to share photos, or see your profile on LinkedIn, and is just eager to share data and contact information with you.

It’s all so fun and a good time, you think nothing of the interaction. Only until later, when you realize that you can’t find your iPhone anywhere. Then you start to wonder. Soon, you’ll be in a real panic.

The iPhone’s passcode (when you need to enter a number to unlock it) is the weak link in the security process. It’s an important aspect of this iPhone theft trend.

What you need to know about your iPhone’s passcode weakness.

First—a reminder that we brought up right at the top. Your face or finger, biometric methods, are more secure than a passcode you enter on your screen. There’s a simple reason:

  • If someone learns your password and has your phone, they can open any of your apps and control your phone as if they were you.
  • They can also immediately change your Apple ID and lock you out from all your accounts, while you’re trying to regain access to your accounts.
  • In the worst-case scenario—which is what this article is about—a stranger spies on you entering your passcode, then steals your phone.
  • Then they steal money from accounts linked to your phone, open new credit accounts (they link to your phone) and make purchases online using credit cards you have linked to your phone.
  • Lastly, and as a final insult, they sell your phone on the internet and make more money.

Protect your accounts, your identity and your phone!

We have a handful or articles on iPhone safety and other safety products and procedures. A few of them are very pertinent to protecting your accounts. Here are just a few:

  • Two-factor authentication: It’s important that you take steps to keep people from logging in to your accounts, even if they know your password.
  • Password managers: With a password manager you have a master password to an app that holds all your passwords. Crooks cannot log in because they won’t know that password.

For more articles on online safety, visit our content library at whatismyIPAddress.com/library. Click to go there now.

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