The rising instances of phone theft have become a major concern. Losing your phone can be distressing, but when it's stolen, the situation becomes even more worrisome.
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Fortunately, there's a way to track a stolen phone using its unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This 15-digit code serves as a vital tool in the recovery process and assists law enforcement agencies in locating the stolen device and apprehending the culprits behind the theft. Let's explore the process of tracking a stolen phone with the IMEI number.
What is an IMEI Number?
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, and it is a unique 15-digit code assigned to every mobile device. This number acts as a distinct identifier for your phone and remains constant throughout its lifetime.
How are IMEI Numbers Assigned?
When a phone is manufactured, a unique IMEI number is assigned to it by the device manufacturer. The IMEI number is then registered with the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) and the wireless carrier providing service to the device.
Why is IMEI Number Important?
The IMEI number plays a crucial role in various aspects of the mobile device's functioning. It helps cellular networks identify valid devices, prevent phone cloning, and blacklist stolen phones, making them useless on any network.
Steps to Track a Stolen Phone Using IMEI Number
Step 1. File a Police Report: As soon as you discover your phone is stolen, contact the local authorities and file a police report. Provide them with all the necessary details, including the IMEI number, to assist in the investigation
Step 2. Contact Your Mobile Service Provider: Inform your mobile service provider about the theft and provide them with the IMEI number. They can blacklist the device, making it unusable on their network and other associated networks.
Step 3. IMEI Tracking Apps and Software: There are various third-party applications and software available that claim to track stolen phones using IMEI numbers. While some of these apps may be helpful, exercise caution while choosing them, as some might be scams or ineffective.
How to Track iPhone with IMEI
To track your lost or stolen iPhone using the IMEI number, follow these steps:
- Find Your IMEI Number: Dial *#06# on your iPhone's dialer, and the IMEI number will appear on the screen. Alternatively, you can find it in the device's Settings under "General" > "About."
- File a Police Report: Report the loss or theft of your iPhone to the local authorities and provide them with the IMEI number.
- Contact Your Carrier: Inform your mobile service provider about the situation and provide them with the IMEI number. They can blacklist the device to prevent unauthorised use.
- Use IMEI Tracking Services: Several online platforms offer IMEI tracking services. Register your stolen iPhone on these platforms, and they may help locate the device using its IMEI number.
- Track the Phone: With the help of law enforcement and IMEI tracking services, monitor updates on the location of your iPhone. If found, coordinate with the authorities to recover it safely.
It's crucial to act quickly after realising your iPhone is lost or stolen. The faster you report the incident and provide the IMEI number to relevant parties, the higher the chances of recovering your valuable device. Remember, tracking a stolen iPhone with the IMEI number may require the assistance of law enforcement, so cooperate fully and provide all necessary details to aid in the investigation.
How to Check IMEI Number on Android and iPhone
Checking your phone's IMEI number is a simple process, and here's how you can do it for both Android and iPhone devices:
For Android Devices
- Dialer Method: Open the Phone app and dial *#06#. The IMEI number will be displayed on the screen instantly.
- Settings Method: Go to "Settings" on your Android phone. Navigate to "About Phone" or "About Device," depending on your device model. Look for "IMEI" or "IMEI Information," and you will find the IMEI number along with other device details.
- Battery or Back Cover: Some Android phones have the IMEI number printed on the battery or back cover. Power off your device, remove the battery, and check for the IMEI number.
For iPhone Devices
- Settings Method: Open the "Settings" app on your iPhone. Tap on "General" and then select "About." Scroll down, and you will find the IMEI number along with other device information.
- Dialer Method: Although iPhones don't have a direct dialer code for checking the IMEI, you can still find it using this method. Open the Phone app, and dial *#06#. A pop-up message will display the IMEI number.
- SIM Tray Method: For iPhone models with a SIM card tray on the side, eject the SIM card tray using the provided tool or a paperclip. The IMEI number will be printed on the tray or its slot.
It's essential to keep a record of your phone's IMEI number as it can be handy in various situations, such as reporting a lost or stolen phone to the authorities or contacting your service provider in case of any issues. Ensure you store the IMEI number in a safe place, separate from your phone, for quick access when needed.
Losing a phone, especially due to theft, can be a distressing experience. However, with the help of the IMEI number and collaboration with law enforcement and mobile service providers, there is a chance of tracking and recovering the stolen device. To minimise the risk of phone theft, it's essential to take precautionary measures, such as using strong passwords, enabling tracking features, and being vigilant in public areas.
Note: You can also read this article on how to track your android phone using Google IMEI.
Carlcare is the Official After-Sales Repair Centre for TECNO, Infinix and Itel Smartphones. We make use of original accessories only for repairs, and when you choose to repair at Carlcare you’re covered by warranty for a period (should the issue reoccur), unlike with other external repair options.
Can the IMEI number be changed or tampered with?
Yes, technically, it is possible to change or tamper with the IMEI number of a phone, but doing so is illegal in many countries and can result in severe penalties.
Is it possible to track a phone if it is turned off?
No, IMEI tracking requires the phone to be turned on and connected to a cellular network.
Can I track my phone using GPS instead of IMEI?
If your phone has GPS tracking enabled and a tracking app installed, you may be able to use GPS for tracking. However, GPS tracking has limitations, such as the need for the phone to have an internet connection.
How can I find the IMEI number of my phone?
You can find the IMEI number of your phone by dialling *#06# on your phone's dialer. It will display the 15-digit IMEI number on the screen.
Is it safe to use third-party IMEI tracking apps?
While some third-party IMEI tracking apps may be legitimate and helpful, it's essential to research and choose reputable apps from trusted sources to avoid scams or potential security risks.