Due to theft or loss, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), on average blocks some 8.000 cellular phones monthly. The totals from March 2011 to November 2012, the state telecom – the carrier with the largest number of cell phone customers – processedsome 176.000 requests by users.

iphone-5-12The viceministro de Seguridad, Celso Gamboa, says theft of cellular phones continue and occur often, with the more expensive equipment being targeted by criminals.

Gamboa recommends the public not to show off their cell phones in public, especially phones like the iPhone or Galaxy, even if its a knock-off.

The vice-minister said unfortunately some criminals are willing to kill and have killed for a cell phone.

If your phone is stolen is lost it can be reported by calling 1193 – the ICE customer service – from any phone. The cost is ¢858 colones plus taxes.

Costa Rica subscribes to the GSM Association (GSMA.com), that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

Once the cell phone is reported lost or stolen, ICE will report it to the GSMA and within 24 hours the cell phone is useless worldwide. However, the cell phone itself must be registered with ICE and associated with the number.

For customers of Claro they should call 7002-7002 from any phone (or *10 from a Claro phone) and Movistar, dial 1693 from any Movistar phone or 800 000 1693 from any other phone.