Losing your phone and wallet or having them stolen can be very frustrating. However, in case that happens to you, there is no time to get desperate – the first thing you need to do is take care of your security. Here is how to block your SIM card and bank account in case of an emergency.
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1. Why do you need to do it?
When your mobile phone or wallet with bank cards are stolen or lost, you may think that your biggest loss is the phone or cards themselves. But there is an even bigger threat – with the help of your phone or cards, the perpetrator or the person who finds your lost items can get access to your finances and even your identity.
Like many Nigerians, you probably have your bank data connected to your mobile phone number. By having your phone at hand, the criminals can enter your online banking account and transfer the money from your account to theirs. And that’s not even the most dangerous thing that can happen. There have been cases where the victim’s entire identity was copied or stolen after their mobile phone or bank cards got into the wrong hands. That is why blocking your SIM card and bank accounts is the first thing you need to do in case there is an emergency.
2. How to block your SIM card
There are three primary ways to block a SIM card remotely when your phone got misplaced or stolen:
1. With IMEI
IMEI is a unique identification number that is written on the inside of your mobile phone. You can also find the IMEI in the phone settings or in the box that your smartphone was shipped in. If you bought your phone used without a box, the best idea is to write down the IMEI number somewhere.
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If your phone got lost and you have your IMEI number, first visit the police station to file a report. Then take the report and your ID to your service provider. They will block the phone by IMEI and the SIM card that was installed in the smartphone at the time of the loss.
2. Without IMEI
In case you didn’t save the IMEI number of your mobile phone, don’t worry – you can still block it whenever you need. You can choose to block only your SIM card – in that case, you will need to contact your service provider. Alternatively, you can request your service provider to block the device even without the IMEI number – they will request your ID and will ask a few questions to determine whether you are the original owner of the device.
3. With your account
If you have an Apple or Android mobile phone, you can not only track its location, but also remotely block your phone so that no one can use it. Simply open the Find My Phone or Find My Device for iOS and Android respectively, enter your login information, and proceed with the next steps.
2. How to block your bank account
If you have your mobile phone with you but your bank cards were stolen or you worry your financial data may be compromised in another way, you can block your bank account by simply dialling a certain number on your mobile phone.
Some banks require you to call a number to block your activity, while others allow you to do it via a USSD code. Note that while you can block the account from your phone, you will need to pay a physical visit to the bank if you want to unlock it.
For every bank, the USSD code or phone number is different. You can learn the necessary code by calling your phone’s customer service line or by checking the contacts section on their website. Here are some of the numbers you can use if you want to block your bank account:
- For Zenith Bank – #966*911#
- For GTBank – *737*51*10#
- For First Bank – text “BLOCK” to 30012
- For Union Bank – text “BLOCK CARD NUBAN” to 20123
- For FCMB Bank – call + 2342798800
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