CHICAGO (CBS)-Once a thief has your phone, they often have access to your bank, Venmo, Uber and other accounts.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked to one victim on Thursday who lost $2,000 from her bank account in addition to other financial losses after a thief took her phone in Las Vegas. 

Chase initially refused to give her the money back, but today the bank reconsidered.

Tellez has examined how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of having personal information stolen when your phone gets into the wrong hands.

As we use cell phones for more and more tasks, we leave ourselves more vulnerable.

When someone stole Gabrielle Betancourt’s phone, hacking into her Venmo, Uber, and Chase accounts, it took her months to get her money back.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said.

Kimberly Walker from the Best Buy Geek Squad said people “get into a frenzy” when they lose their phones.

Walker said the best passwords include a combination of letters and numbers.

“That is astronomical amounts harder to crack,” she said. “If someone only has a four-digit passcode it’s pretty easy to look over your shoulder and memorize that.”

Longer passwords are better, but don’t store them in your iPhone notes app or in your contacts because they’re easy to access.

Walker isn’t a fan of the iPhone keychain either, which stores all your passwords.

She recommends deleting all saved passwords from smart phones.

Another recommendation is to set your phone to lock immediately after you stop using it.

Looking back on her ordeal, Betancourt says if you discover your iPhone stolen, erase it immediately.

“It’s not worth whatever pictures that you have or you think you might be able to get it back,” she said. “It’s really not worth it. ”

If you’re already backing up to the iCloud you can just go ahead and wipe it because you get everything back on your next phone.”

And Betancourt got very good news today when Chase refunded the $2K dollars stolen from her account.

Chase told us they reviewed her relationship with the bank.

Because of the fraud, Venmo, Uber Discover Card and Chase all covered her losses.

Roseanne Tellez