UAE residents asked to report stolen, lost mobile phones to service providers

The TDRA has asked residents to provide precise information about personal identity along with other details

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sat 18 Nov 2023, 1:15 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 6:16 PM

UAE residents have been asked to report their lost or stolen mobile phones to the telecom service providers etisalat by e& and du so that they can block the device and prevent its connection to any wireless network in the UAE.

The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) said residents can submit reports of their lost or stolen mobile devices through different channels such as customer service call centres, live chat services on websites and other channels affiliated with the operators.

Eng. Saif Bin Ghelaita, director of technology development affairs at TDRA, said this initiative is aimed at enhancing the security and well-being of the Emirati community.

“The surge in electronic services, both in government and the private sector, has led the majority of users to depend primarily on mobile phones for a wide array of transactions. These transactions encompass governmental processes, financial payments, and service applications. Consequently, there was a need to introduce more services and implement additional measures, ensuring the safeguarding of customers' security and privacy,” said Bin Ghelaita.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest mobile phone penetration, reaching a staggering over 19 million.

Precise time and location

The authority asked residents to provide precise information about personal identity, the time and location of the loss or theft incident, and the specifications of the device. Customers are also advised to liaise with the competent security authorities.

It asked residents to use protective measures in their handsets such as setting a password, activating two-step verification, enabling the fingerprint or facial recognition feature, and activating the device-tracking feature.

Once a resident reports an incident, the identity of the person submitting the report is verified, and the details and specifications of the lost/stolen device are confirmed. Then the service provider communicates all terms and conditions related to the blocking process to the customer.

Upon receiving the customer's approval, the service provider adds the device's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to the blacklisted devices database. Within a 24-hour timeframe from receiving the report, the service provider will initiate the block on this device, preventing its connection to any wireless network in the UAE, which is the same period that the service provider will need to unblock the missing device if the device is found and recovered.

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