U.S. Carriers Agree to Deny Service to Stolen Phones

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ttg_Avenged

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Good. Remember that one guy who stole a iPhone and uploaded his pics to facebook? Rofl, what a dumb little...

However, thieves would just sell the phone, so this is nice to stop them.
 

Johmama

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This is actually a really good idea. I've never been victim of cell-phone theft so this doesn't affect me right now, but it's great that they want to do this so I"m not a victim in the future.

Plus, I gain a little faith in "the system" back every time I see big companies willing to work together, even IF it's for a common benefit. It happens once in a blue moon...
 

flyflinger

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Hope they will add a feature that allows all of us to access the database to check for status of a used phone before buying it.
 

JDFan

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So -- what happens if someone falsely reports someone else's cellphone as stolen or sells a phone and a few months later reports it stolen ?? I can see it now someone goes into a retail outlet or an employee in a store that gets fired writes down the serial # off all the phones in the place and then a couple months later starts reporting them all stolen and suddenly the stores customers all have their phones made useless !
 

ses27

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I wonder how long it will be before it is misused to back a phone from going from one carrier to another
 

twelch82

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[citation][nom]JDFan[/nom]So -- what happens if someone falsely reports someone else's cellphone as stolen or sells a phone and a few months later reports it stolen ?? I can see it now someone goes into a retail outlet or an employee in a store that gets fired writes down the serial # off all the phones in the place and then a couple months later starts reporting them all stolen and suddenly the stores customers all have their phones made useless ![/citation]

I think the way it would be likely to work is that when you first activate your new phone, the carrier would collect the serial number - it has to be accessible through software for them to even be able to block a stolen phone. Then, if your phone gets stolen, they already know what the serial number for it was, so that serial number would be moved into the database of inoperable serial numbers.

The best thieves may find a way to change the serial numbers, but it would probably be an effective deterrent for the common thief.
 

bak0n

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It took them so long because they saw $$$ profit from thieves, but not themselves thieves, the other ones, who steal the phones.
 

rebel1280

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freaking awesome, im not going to say about time or anything just, congrats on getting together and laying down some much needed ground rules! :)
 

noob2222

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as long as they make this database accessable to the public. Id hate to buy a phone off ebay with no way to check the # only to find out later its labeled as stolen.

chances are thats where a lot of stolen phones are getting sold.
 

lockhrt999

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[citation][nom]twelch82[/nom]I think the way it would be likely to work is that when you first activate your new phone, the carrier would collect the serial number - it has to be accessible through software for them to even be able to block a stolen phone. Then, if your phone gets stolen, they already know what the serial number for it was, so that serial number would be moved into the database of inoperable serial numbers.The best thieves may find a way to change the serial numbers, but it would probably be an effective deterrent for the common thief.[/citation]

Well this serial number is hardcoded in hardware. On most phones you can check it out by dialing *#06#. Every phone has it. And you got the wrong impression that carriers would block the phone, no they just block service to the phone which means you won't get signal on stolen phone.

This system will discourage the thieves only up to some extent because these stolen phones still be fully operable outside US.

New system will emerge for thieves, phones stolen in US will be exported to Canada and phones stolen in canada will be exported to US. :D
 
G

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IMEI number blocking has been happening in UK for a long time!
 

unoriginal1

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Cell companies have been "denying" service for stolen for phones for a while now. I worked for a cell company (no names to try to stay professional) while going through college for two years. When we activated a phone we had to input the serial # of the phone and the IMEI number of the SIM card in order for the device to work. When we did this we were "supposed" to run a search on the serial number to make sure it doesn't show as in use or reported as stolen on any other accounts. (how many agents actually did this who knows). Of course if it came up as stolen we were supposed to politely ask the person to return the device to the nearest company store.

The question i have.. Is what is going to stop people from just swapping the Sim into their stolen device and never updating the serial # in the system? This was very very common with non smart phones swapping to smart phones to avoid the mandatory data plans. I know for certain the cell towers show the Imei and serial number in use... So assuming they are going to implement something in the software to block the phone if the serial number matches in the database?

Agree with the rest of you on needing a public access. Sure would suck to buy a new phone on ebay/craigslist only to find out it's useless.

 

unoriginal1

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[citation][nom]lockhrt999[/nom]Well this serial number is hardcoded in hardware. On most phones you can check it out by dialing *#06#. Every phone has it. And you got the wrong impression that carriers would block the phone, no they just block service to the phone which means you won't get signal on stolen phone. This system will discourage the thieves only up to some extent because these stolen phones still be fully operable outside US.New system will emerge for thieves, phones stolen in US will be exported to Canada and phones stolen in canada will be exported to US.[/citation]


Thats a good point. Also people are still going to steal them for having a glorified ipod as well :/ and or parts like screens. A galaxy s III screen is $250-$300ish new? I can see people stripping them for parts now too.
 
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Sprint and Verizon have been doing this for awhile. They ban the ESN and you cant use that phone on their network. Possibly on a partner network, not sure of this.

But im sure they could all do this before. Maybe the government gave them an incentive to make this alliance, and database.
 

unoriginal1

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[citation][nom]yarmock[/nom]Sprint and Verizon have been doing this for awhile. They ban the ESN and you cant use that phone on their network. Possibly on a partner network, not sure of this.But im sure they could all do this before. Maybe the government gave them an incentive to make this alliance, and database.[/citation]

Verizon (don't know about sprint) is moving and has moved a lot towards GSM (sim) from CDMA (esn). Maybe once they are all on the same type of technology it'll be easier to create a single database? Still wondering how they are going to accomplish this.. Since the SIM can be swapped. After it registers with the cell towers maybe it'll run a quick search on the data base and see if the Serial number matches?
 
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Guys this doesn't mean a thing, all you need is a white listing service and boom your back in business. This is just a touchy feely PR move, also another way to help identify the user on the end of a particular line with even less work.
 

lockhrt999

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Guys, by serial numbers, the author must have meant IMEI number.
Carriers will act upon by checking on IMEI number. IMEI numbers belong to cell phone hardware and not the sim/esn. So no matter if you swap the sims, same IMEI number will be reported to the carrier.
 

unoriginal1

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[citation][nom]lockhrt999[/nom]Guys, by serial numbers, the author must have meant IMEI number. Carriers will act upon by checking on IMEI number. IMEI numbers belong to cell phone hardware and not the sim/esn. So no matter if you swap the sims, same IMEI number will be reported to the carrier.[/citation]

Yup your right. I had it backwards. Imei belongs to the phone, serial number belongs to the sim. But the service is activated by the Sim. As long as that sim is activate in a system it will work for any phone thats supported on that network.

To put it simply.. Im just wondering if they will put in some kind of software thats going to check the tower records when it reports back the imei and serial in use and if it matches a stolen phone it deactivates the line / suspends. If they rely on the agents to do this (like in the past) nothings going to change. Countless times i would see stolen phones active and in use for months/years on lines when i worked in the industry.
 
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