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Cover Story
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Find your phone with Find A Phone - Cover Story\iMobile.com.au Find your phone with Find A Phone

19 July 2002
Written by Kinny Cheng

Owning a mobile phone certainly has its advantages, but at the same time there’s the risk of it being misplaced, lost or stolen (touchwood!) It’s certainly no laughing matter, as mobile phones have become an integral part of our daily lives compared to many years before when it was solely an item of luxury and non-necessity.

And sometimes, it’s not just losing the phone - but also the telephone numbers that are saved onto the memory of either phone or SIM card! Although most mobile phone insurance covers the full replacement of the lost handset, this does not mean you get back your phone numbers. Wouldn’t it be a godsend if the user was able to get their phone book back as well?

“Inconvenience” would probably sum up the overall experience of such a typical situation. But to make things a bit easier, a mobile phone recovery service called Find A Phone (FAP) is currently available to all mobile phone owners in Australia (this includes GSM and CDMA handsets).

How does it work?

Firstly, register your personal information and mobile phones

FAP collects information on currently-owned or stolen mobile phones via its website (http://www.findaphone.com.au), where the owner of the mobile phone registers his/her email address as a reference and the handset’s serial number (IMEI / ESN). Registration is free, as well as amendments to handset and personal details. Once entered, the owner can specify whether the phone is one currently owned, or if it has already been lost or stolen.

So then what? For those just registering their mobile phone’s serial number, the information will be kept in FAP’s database until either removed or updated (for example, if you sell off your phone or have it upgraded). If there’s the chance that your mobile phone gets lost or stolen, return to the FAP site and flag the respective mobile phone as being “lost/stolen”.

What does FAP do with my registration?

Information on FAP’s databases is kept confidential, where it is used only for the purpose of recovering lost or stolen mobile phones.

FAP is notified daily of recovered mobile phones by a network of law enforcement agents and lost property units throughout Australia. It compares the serial number information that it receives with its database of user registrations. If there is a match, FAP will make every attempt to contact the respective owner of the phone’s recovery - where a $20.00 fee will be charged for providing information on the recovered phone’s location details (it is the owner’s responsibility to collect their recovered phone).

It’s probably a small price to pay if you had valuable information on the phone before it became lost or stolen, as there’s still the chance of you recovering this.

So what’s the catch?

Probably the only catch is your personal information and the $20.00 you need to pay to get the location details of your recovered phone. But I do think that such a service would probably improve the chances of recovering a lost or stolen phone if it did end up being found. Since registration of your mobile phone details is free, the FAP concept is a good safety measure if the worse does happen and you do have the choice of whether to pay the $20.00 “information fee” when the time comes.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to practice is common sense. Always try to keep your mobile phones out of sight from very “public” places (don’t leave it in your car, try not show it off on the restaurant table, etc) and pocket it somewhere that’s quite secure so it won’t simply “fall out”. By doing so, your investment and much-needed “necessity” is probably safer than you think! :)

For more information on FAP, you may visit their website at:

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