It could happen to you. You get up from your cafe table to request the bill, leave your car unlocked while you run to the pharmacy, or dump your backpack on the subway seat next to you and burrow into a magazine. Next thing you know, your brand-new iPhone is gone. It happens all the time. In 2013, 3.1 million American consumers were victims of smartphone theft, according to Consumer Reports—nearly double the number reported in 2012. Mobile security specialist Lookout’s Phone Theft in America report, a survey of smartphone theft victims conducted by IDG Research, takes a close look at the smartphone theft epidemic in the United States. The report found that one in 10 U.S. smartphone owners is a victim of phone theft and 68 percent of victims were unable to recover their devices after the theft occurred. The reality is that, whether your smartphone is white, black or gold, it is now almost 30 times more valuable per ounce than a block of solid silver—and almost as easy to convert discreetly into cash. According to the survey, the most severe consequences of phone theft included fraudulent charges and even identity theft. eWEEK examines key takeaways from the Lookout study.

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