Police mobile phone sting fails when.. err.. no handsets stolen

British police decided to target mobile phone thieves in the Sussex towns of Hastings and St Leonards, and came up with what they imagined was an ingenious plan.

The police decided to initiate “Operation Mobli”, where plain clothes officers deliberately left “bait” phones embedded with tracking devices in nine pubs and bars across the towns of Hastings and St Leonards in Sussex.

Crafty, eh?

There was only one problem.

None of the mobile phones were taken by thieves.

In fact, nearly all of them were spotted by honest customers and handed in to door staff and bar management.

As a sting to catch phone thieves “Operation Mobli” may have failed. But, as Sgt Ché Donald described it in a news release, as “an excellent result and my faith has been restored as the phones were honestly handed in.”…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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