Superyacht crew members, due to the nature of their work and the wealth they are associated with, are increasingly becoming targets of phone theft. Beyond the physical value of the device, organized crime groups understand that smartphones are portals to vast amounts of personal financial information so it’s important to remain vigilant in the case of phone theft.

Thieves utilise advanced techniques to ensure they steal unlocked phones, employing methods such as “shoulder surfing” and discreet filming to capture passcodes before the theft. This strategy allows criminals to access the device and the various passwords for apps and services stored on it. So, how do you avoid this happening? One of CrewFO‘s partners is here to clear up the issue.

So How Does Your Phone Get Stolen?

You’re being watched…

Thieves utilise advanced techniques to ensure they steal unlocked phones. Methods such as “shoulder surfing” and discreet filming are used to capture passcodes prior to the theft. This strategy allows criminals to access the device and the various passwords for apps and services stored on it.

Unlocked phone…

An unlocked phone is significantly more valuable to thieves. While a locked phone may be worth a few hundred pounds, an unlocked one can be valued in the thousands. Criminals exploit these unlocked devices to alter settings, reset passwords, and bypass other security measures, thereby locking out the original owner and profiting from the stolen data.

Same old passcode…

Improving personal cybersecurity practices is essential. Studies indicate that half of people reuse the same PIN for their phone and other applications, simplifying access for criminals. Additionally, storing multiple bank cards and personal identification in phone cases further facilitates theft.

What happens after it’s stolen?

In addition to monetising stolen data, the handsets are often shipped overseas to be used with new SIM cards. Within the UK, stolen phones are frequently disassembled for valuable parts like screens and camera lenses.

How To Protect Yourself

The best protection is prevention. However, keeping your phone out of sight in public can be challenging. To minimize the impact if your phone is stolen, consider the following tips:


•             Choosing a Secure Phone: Utilise built-in security features, and consult reviews and recommendations.

•             Setting Up Your Phone Securely: Enable PINs, passwords, or biometric locks. Set up “Find My Phone” services and install security apps.

•             Data Backup and Storage: Perform regular backups to cloud services and physical backups using SD cards and external drives.

•             Insurance and Documentation: Explore phone insurance options and keep records of your phone’s IMEI and serial numbers.


•             Everyday Habits: Stay aware of your surroundings, keep your phone out of sight, and avoid unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.

•             Physical Security Measures: Use anti-theft bags and accessories, and secure carrying options.

•             Digital Security Measures: Install anti-theft apps, keep software updated, and enable remote wipe and lock features.


•             Immediate Actions: Report the theft to authorities and use “Find My Phone” services.

•             Protecting Your Data: Perform remote lock and wipe, and change passwords and PINs.

•             Contacting Service Providers: Report the theft to your carrier, suspend service, and block the phone.

•             Monitoring for Fraudulent Activity: Check bank and credit accounts, and set up alerts for suspicious activities.


•             Claiming Insurance: File a claim with your insurer and provide the necessary documentation.

•             Replacing Your Phone: Choose a new phone and restore data from backups.

Get in touch with Crew FO for further details on these measures, and we’ll link you with a specialist for expert guidance. Click here for more information.

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