The Regina Police Service has a reminder for owners of mobile phones to learn more about their IMEI numbers and how this unique number can help: deter crime, claim a recovered stolen phone and prevent you from buying stolen property, if you buy a previously-owned phone.
What is an IMEI number? Every mobile phone has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, number. It’s a little like a VIN on a vehicle. No two mobile phones will have the same IMEI numbers.
Where do I find it? Each device will be a little different, but the information is usually in your “Settings” information under “About”. It should also be available in the documents that come with a new phone.
Why record it? If you own a mobile phone, write down the phone’s IMEI number and keep that record separate from the device itself. In the event that your phone is stolen, report to police and then contact your service provider. Your service provider can de-activate the phone and add the IMEI number to a national Blacklist, which means the phone cannot be used on any Canadian network. If the phone is recovered, you can provide your IMEI as proof that the device belongs to you. And you can remove a device from the Blacklist by getting in touch with your service provider again.
What if I am buying a previously-owned phone? The Blacklist can help you check to make sure you are not buying a stolen phone. You can check the IMEI against the database by visiting http://www.protectyourdata.ca/ and entering the IMEI number to see if the phone has been reported lost or stolen.
Taking the time to record your IMEI number can make mobile phones a less valuable target for criminals. The Blacklist can help eliminate the black market for stolen devices. We can all make a difference in crime prevention. More information about the Blacklist is available from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunication Association at http://www.cwta.ca/blog/2013/09/30/canadas-wireless-industry-launches-national-stolen-device-blacklist/ .