iPhone theft is becoming more sophisticated as thieves are now obtaining access to a person's Apple ID, which is linked to their personal information such as photos, videos, contacts, and notes. People can fall victim to this type of theft by having their passcode watched, or in some cases being threatened for it or drugged. To protect your data, cover your screen in public, create a strong passcode, add additional security to apps, use a password manager, delete photos and scans of important documents from the phone, and act quickly if it is stolen.
When is an iPhone theft not just an iPhone theft? When the user's Apple ID and more, goes with it.
That's what the Wall Street Journal reports has been happening over recent months. The paper interviewed a handful of people who fell victim to old-school phone theft while out in a bar. But it wasn't just the phone that was taken.. In minutes, they were also denied access to their Apple accounts and everything attached to them, including photos, videos, contacts, notes, and more.
Some of the victims were robbed of thousands of dollars in the form of drained bank accounts, money taken from Venmo or other money-sending apps, and Apple Pay charges.
Most victims have shared the same story: They are befriended by a small group of two to three people. At some point in the evening, a gang member watches the victim entering their passcode (law enforcement says sometimes members secretly film this process). Then the phone is stolen, usually without the victim noticing.
Some victims say they were physically assaulted and threatened into revealing their passcode. Others believe they were drugged and don't remember how their phone got swiped.