Long Beach among top 5 cities for lost cellphones in 2011


Do you have a friend in Long Beach who doesn’t pick up your calls? Well, don’t be too upset. Chances are your friend lost the phone.

Long Beach ranked fourth in the U.S. last year among the top cities for wayward mobile phones, according to a new report by San Francisco start-up Lookout Mobile Security. Topping the list were Philadelphia, Seattle and Oakland.

They couldn’t explain why Long Beach ranked so high but some of the cities in the Top 10 also had some of the highest crime rates in the nation -- though Long Beach wasn’t one of them.


The report, which is based on an analysis of Lookout’s 15 million users, shows lost cellphones may have cost Long Beach residents nearly $48 million in replacement costs in 2011.

The study, believed to be the first of its kind, concludes lost cellphones could cost U.S. consumers more than $30 billion in 2012. Between Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco, hundreds of thousands of phones were lost in 2011.

On average, U.S. consumers lose their phones once a year – usually a $250 loss. The top spots for losing phones are at coffee shops, bars and at offices, though it varied depending on the city.

In New York, the top place to lose your phone was a fast-food restaurant; in San Francisco, it was the coffee shop, while in Chicago it was at church.

“Phones have become everyone’s lifeline,” said Alicia diVittorio, the company’s consumer safety advocate. “And because we always have them on us, they’re more prone to be lost.”

The company, which sells security software for mobile phones, was founded at USC in 2007 by three students. The firm decided to conduct the study to look at what happens when people lose their phones as well as raise awareness, diVittorio said.

Also of note, diVittorio said the study found that phone losses go up during the holidays and other high-celebration events.

“During celebrations like New Year’s Eve, or during Mardi Gras or Carnival around the world, so there’s a higher likelihood that phones are lost,” she said. “So big group celebrations is another time where you should really check to make sure you have your phone on you.”

So before you go out and celebrate next time, take diVittorio’s advice for keeping your phone safe:

  • Set a pass code.
  • Double check that you have it when you go to bars, coffee shops and restaurants.
  • Download an app like Lookout’s or Apple’s Find My iPhone, so you can track your phone if you do lose it.


For some, texting and walking don’t mix

Step away from the tech -- just for a day

McAfee identity theft expert on which devices are safe to resell

Follow Salvador Rodriguez on Facebook or Twitter

Original source: Americans lost about $30 billion worth of mobile phones last year, says a new industry report