PSA: If you regularly buy your cellphones 2nd-hand, stolen phone database is now LIVE

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices & Gadgets' started by SunnyD, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. SunnyD

    SunnyD Belgian Waffler

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    I don't have a link, but as of 11/1/2012, the FCC mandated stolen handset/IMEI database is officially live for each major carrier - AT&T and T-Mo (Verizon/Sprint were already tracking since ESN's were tied to activations).

    If you regularly buy your handsets secondhand, you may want to double check with the original carrier before your plunk your cash down whether the IMEI is flagged as stolen now.

    Note: The GLOBAL (shared) database isn't yet fully active, but providers will be adding entries to it over time meaning your unlocked T-Mo phone may magically stop working on AT&T at some point because it's been flagged as stolen.

    Just a PSA!
     
  2. ImDonly1

    ImDonly1 Platinum Member

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    Even worse it's global so if you do get ripped off you can't resell the phone in another country either.

    I thought it was going to be be a US only list.
     
  3. lothar

    lothar Diamond Member

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    I don't buy used electronics.
    Never have, and never will.
     
  4. podspi

    podspi Golden Member

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    Does anybody know of a good site to check IMEIs now?

    It is going to be interesting the next few weeks on eBay as the prices of bad esn phones plummet as they become more or less worthless.
     
  5. lothar

    lothar Diamond Member

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    Why not check it at the carrier stores? :colbert:
    If it's a Sprint phone, check it at the Sprint store.
    If it's a Verizon phone, check it at the Verizon store.
    If it's a AT&T phone, check it at the AT&T store.
    If it's a T-Mobile phone, check it at the T-Mobile store.

    If it's an unbranded phone like the Nexus or an international phone, I'd assume you're out of luck.
     
  6. soccerballtux

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    not that kind of Global.
    You can sell to other countries.
    It's global as in shared between all carriers in the US.
     
  7. soccerballtux

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    How does that save you from somebody defaulting on their monthly payments?
     
  8. daddy-o

    daddy-o Senior member

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    It doesn't. To be honest, I worry more about someone selling a contract phone and defaulting 2 months later, you have no way to check it out ahead of time, and no recourse through any means after 2 months.
     
  9. God Mode

    God Mode Platinum Member

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    If the carriers want to use a database, they should make it easy for people to check whether the phone is out of contract, in contract, stolen etc with no future surprises. Make the database accessible to the public.
     
  10. MrX8503

    MrX8503 Diamond Member

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    This is good news. However it should be easy to check if its stolen.
     
  11. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    How so?