By Trae Jacobs,
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With streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, the sky is the limit for what you can watch on a Samsung TV. Those apps may even help you track down your TV if it gets stolen. Using a few different methods, you may be able to locate your stolen property and alert the authorities.
If your Samsung Smart TV was stolen, all is not lost. There are several strategies you can use to get it back possibly. Read on to learn how to track your stolen Samsung smart TV and the steps you can take after the theft occurs.
How to Track Down a Stolen Samsung Smart TV
One of the advantages of owning a smart TV is that there are several options for tracking it if it goes missing. At some point, your stolen TV will be used by either the thief or whoever buys it. This could give you valuable wireless access to the TV even if you don’t know its location.
Stolen Samsung Smart TVs can be tracked using GPS locators or the IP addresses tied to your media accounts. Tracking an IP address requires that the TV be connected to the Internet. With a police report, you can use your TV’s serial number to track its IP address.
You can track a stolen Samsung Smart TV by monitoring account activity on media apps such as Netflix or Hulu. When the stolen TV is hooked up to an Internet connection, the app will send its location via its IP address. Law enforcement can use this information to locate your TV.
Using Internet Activity and the TV’s IP Address
The most effective way to track a stolen Samsung smart TV (or any smart TV, for that matter) is by monitoring your media account activity. Once your smart TV is connected to the Internet and media accounts such as Netflix are used, its IP address can be used to trace a location.
But using a stolen smart TV’s IP address to track its location only works under the following circumstances:
- You must have media accounts (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Disney+) set up on your TV
- You must have been signed in to one or more of these accounts when your TV was stolen because the thief presumably will not know your login credentials.
- You should have the same media apps installed and set up on other devices, like a smartphone or laptop, for spot monitoring of account activity. Also, check the email you use for the account.
- The thief, or whoever has your stolen TV, must connect it to the internet and access one of your media apps long enough for the location’s IP address to be logged.
If your Samsung TV gets stolen and you have media apps installed, monitor their usage closely to see if there is any login activity.
Once you detect unusual activity, inform the police of your findings. They will need to petition the ISP to track the IP address.
File a Police Report
Recovering your stolen TV will be extremely difficult and highly unlikely unless you file a formal police report.
Filing a police report for the missing TV will enable law enforcement to track a stolen TV by its serial number and IP address.
A police report is an official law enforcement record containing your Samsung Smart TV’s serial number.
Investigators can track any new use of the television on a different IP than your home IP address. This information may lead police to where the TV is being used.
Get Your Insurance Involved
Aside from being part of an investigation, contacting your local police and filing a police report may be required by your insurance company if you submit a loss claim under a renter’s insurance or home insurance policy.
Here’s the information you should keep handy whether you enlist the police to help track down your stolen Samsung smart TV or file an insurance claim:
- TV’s serial number
- TV’s make and model
- Purchase cost of the TV (if possible/logged)
- Your home IP address
Even if you don’t get your TV back, you may be able to recover its value.
Can You Track a Smart TV Without Internet Access?
The other way to track a stolen smart TV without internet access is using a third-party GPS tracking device.
A tracker can help you locate and recover your stolen smart TV. Some of the benefits include:
- Tracking devices are affordable
- They come in different shapes and sizes to suit your TV
- They are easy to apply
- The tracking feature of these small devices can be used with a smartphone and can lead you (and the police) right to your stolen TV.
Whether this method works depends on how well you hide the tracking device so the thief doesn’t notice it. If the device gets detected and removed, you will lose the ability to track your TV.
Here are a few tracking device options to consider:
Risks and Benefits of Tracking a Smart TV
While you can use media accounts like Netflix to track your stolen smart TV, this can pose risks.
By accessing your media apps, the TV thief can also access the credit card and personal information you used to set up those accounts. This exposes you to credit card fraud.
On the flip side, your credit cards can also help you track down your smart TV thief.
Unauthorized credit card charges can track down the thief’s activities and potentially lead you to the TV’s new location.
Filing a formal police report and notifying the bank of stolen credit card information should protect you against unauthorized charges.
Prepare Ahead to Prevent Smart TV Theft
If you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a smart TV, having it stolen can be a big loss. While it may be possible to track down and recover a stolen smart TV, there are things you can do to protect yourself from being a victim of TV theft in the first place:
- Invest in a home security system
- Install security cameras inside and outside your home
- Install motion-activated lighting around your property
- Secure all windows, doors, and gates with working locks
- Trim trees and bushes that provide hiding places for thieves to avoid detection
FAQ: Tracking a Stolen TV
Can a store track down a stolen TV?
Unfortunately, stores do not assist in recovering stolen items after they have been purchased. That is a job for law enforcement. However, the store where you purchased your TV can provide the following information for filing a police report or an insurance claim:
- TV make and model
- Purchase date
- Serial number
- Price (value)
- Method of payment (proof of purchase)
Can you lock or block a stolen Samsung smart TV?
Yes, but this requires the assistance of the manufacturer. Through its built-in TV Block technology, Samsung can remotely disable devices that do not have valid proof of purchase. This feature activates when a user connects the TV to the internet during setup.
However, TV Block is designed to prevent large-scale theft rings. Whether it can be used in individual cases remains to be seen.
How do you find a TV’s model number?
Whether you own a Samsung smart TV or another brand, you must know its model number in case it gets stolen. This information is needed to file a police report or an insurance claim. Here’s how to find out the model number for these popular brands: