Don’t Want Your Phone Stolen? Stop Using It To Check The Time

Don’t Want Your Phone Stolen? Stop Using It To Check The Time

Smartphones are obvious targets for thieves. The devices are expensive, they’re small, and they’re easy to steal. No Handcuffs — a blog centered around keeping you out of trouble — notes that one of the easiest ways to fall victim to having your phone stolen is to use it to check for the time when someone asks.

Here’s why that can be problematic:

  1. Whether you use your watch or cell phone, you’re looking down at them. This small distraction is all a thief needs to push you, hit you, take your phone, etc.
  2. Asking for the time will cause most people to take out their cell phones. The thief can easily grab the phone from your hands and run away. It also invites the thief to see what type of cell phone you have. iPhones are very popular and a thief wouldn’t have to ask more than three or four people for the time before someone pulled their iPhone out to check.

We know Lifehacker readers are somewhat divided on the watch-versus-mobile question, but this is a good argument in favour of a watch. Whether you use a phone or watch, don’t stop walking if someone asks for the time; that makes it easier to get close to you. Answer the question if you wish, but keep moving.

5 Ways Your iPhone Can Easily Be Stolen [No Handcuffs]


  • Great mor FEAR EVERYONE story. When do we remember that most people are like you and me? Sure be on guard in certain situations or places but why are we letting the world of scumbags rule our lives and be rude to the 99% of people that just want to know the time?

    • +1

      This sounds like the stories back in the day, “Don’t wear nice shoes to school, people will roll you for them”, it was because of that I had a pair of mint Reeboks that ended up getting split soles because they were not worn enough.

      I think most of the “thefts” of mobiles are generally when people have more than likely left there phone somewhere, and it got “stolen”.

  • Must be hard for the thief to sell the Phone without its orginal peripherals, do they ask you for the charger, box and password after they punch you? am I missing something?

    • You’re forgetting that thieves probably don’t think about that stuff when they take your phone. Someone at work was mugged not long ago and had their phone stolen – but because it was an Android phone with a pattern unlock, the thieves couldn’t get into it, so basically threw it across the room. The police later found it and while it was broken, none of the personal data had been compromised, which is the important thing.

      • Also, often (I know this one through experience, so can confirm this) they are somehow known in the drug scene, or hang around with younger juveniles in high school who would be more than willing to pay 10% of the price for an item without the peripherals.

        I remember a mate back in high school knew a few of the older druggies, and bought a GPS device off him for something in the vicinity of $50, without the charger. Cheap as chips for the buyer, and an easy 50 bag for the druggies!

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