Vodafone is the next GSM network in Australia to introduce handset (or IMEI/serial number) blocking for its customers. This will mean that any GSM mobile handset that is registered as lost or stolen and used on the Vodafone network will not be able to make/receive calls and SMS messages (or TXT).
IMEI number blocking is a network security feature controlled from the mobile network operator's side. Since there is nothing that can be possibly done on the actual phone once it is lost or stolen, this is where the phone's serial (IMEI) number becomes that much more important.
Any Vodafone customer that may have lost of have their mobile phone stolen should call customer service as soon as possible (1555 from a Vodafone handset, or via the toll-free number 1300 650 410). The Vodafone representative will undertake an extensive customer verfication procedure to ensure that the correct handset IMEI is blocked. If you are unsure of your handset's IMEI number, the representative can check this for you as well.
If you manage to recover your handset after its IMEI was blocked, call Vodafone customer service once again to have the block removed. All block/unblock procedures will be performed within 24 hours of receiving the customer's request.
But should you be a customer of a Vodafone service provider (for example - AAPT Cellular One, Look Mobile), the handset blocking feature will only be available as of 31 January 2003 - one month after Vodafone's own customers.
As always, apply common security measures to protect your mobile phone and service. Use a PIN number to possibly protect your SIM card from illegitimate use, and a phone lock (if available) to prevent unauthorised use of your phone when in the wrong hands. And to top it off, keep your phone away from prying eyes in public places (crowded or not!)