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Report: Smartphone theft on the rise

SAN ANTONIO – According to Consumer Reports, smartphone theft is on the rise, with 3.1 million smartphones stolen in 2013 -- almost double from the year before.

Heather McKinnon, a consumer safety advocate with mobile security company Lookout said the most common way a smartphone is stolen is by users not paying attention.

"For nearly half of these victims, they simply made the mistake of leaving their phone someplace they shouldn't have," McKinnon said. "It wasn't that it was getting snatched out of their hand, or getting lost on the subway. They were just maybe leaving it on the counter at a cafe, and then turning around for a second."

In the event your cellphone is stolen, contact your provider to halt service so you're not liable for any calls or downloads.

Next, locate your device using an app or GPS tracker.

And finally, wipe your device remotely and call police.

"And if you do have those tools, like a location or a photo or any of those things, don't go after the thief, that's not a good idea," McKinnon said. "Go to the police. Provide them with as much information as possible."

The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself, experts say, is designate a pin code to access your phone.

Consumer Reports estimates about 34 percent of smartphone users don't use a code to protect their phones.


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