I had my new Motorola Rizr stolen a few days ago, and I've been doing some research on how to use the IMEI number to either block the phone from being used again or to get my phone back (obviously getting the phone back is the best case scenario)
Quick version of what happened, I was out and left my phone sitting on the bar, and somebody snatched it when I wasn't looking. I called my number a few times the next day, a girl answered it, basically just denied it, then hung up on me. Must've immediately turned it off because I called right back and it went straight to my voicemail. I've already called Tmobile and told them it was stolen, so it is in the 30-day lockdown right now until I activate my new sim.
From what I understand, the IMEI number is broadcast to the network everytime a call is made, along with the user's account information on the sim card.So let's say the person who stole my phone just takes out my sim and puts in their's, and keeps using the phone. It seems that T-mobile would be able to recognize the IMEI number on my phone every time that person makes a call. Since they would have their sim card in my phone, it also makes sense that T-mobile could easily access their account and provide a name, address, etc. to me or the police.
When I went to the T-mobile store to get a new sim, the lady said that they would know when somebody uses my phone, even when they put their sim in it. However when I called T-mobile customer service, they said that they don't have any way to track or trace a stolen cell phone. I've also read conflicting reports on the internet about whether or not US service providers will help you out with this.
So, has anybody here talked with T-mobile about this, or any other carrier for that matter? Is it possible to get them to cooperate in helping me find out if/who is using my phone, or if not, can they block my IMEI so that no one will be able to use it? Any information, comments, experiences, etc are appreciated.
By the way, I know I should've been more careful with the phone and buying a new one is not gonna kill me at all. The point of this thread is the principle of the matter. It just seems to me that if they have the means to help track down people using stolen cell phones (especially when it seems so easy to do so), that these service providers should be responsible for doing so.
While tmobile can't track your phone, there are still things they are doing for you. Your IMEI has been blacklisted. This means that it can not be used on tmobiles network anymore. Tmobile will be able to see who is using your phone if it gets used, but not where they are located. Also, your IMEI should now be blacklisted on all gsm carriers so that they can see if any of their users are using your phone.
while it is true that tmo can find out what number and account is using your phone, giving that info out would violate the privacy rights of that person. so tmo can only give the info to the authorites under court order.
so it goes like this the rizr is 229.99 so is under the felonly 500.00 min in most states so the police will never ask a judge for the order. they will not spend thousands to get info on a 230.00 item. if it was stolen during an assult b&e or other felonly then yes but " i left it on the bar and it was gone' sorry you are most likely sol
Depending on where you live, the cellular carrier may be liable/guilty of an offense because they may be condoning theft.
Publicity regarding your situation (start with your local paper) would not hurt the situation.
The providers knowingly are making money with people using stolen equipment. They know it is stolen when you report it-since the IMEI number appears each time the phone connects to the network. I think the providers can even let the police know which towers were used by the device (minimizing the area needing to be searched). Of course, if the thief had signed up for new service, the bill would be going somwhere.
The providers respond, like Apple's, that it would involve too many people to monitor all of this data. That response is ridiculous. A simple script could be created to not the use of a 'listed' IMEI number that would be sent, automatically, to the police. The provider loses nothing since the thief still is legally obligated to pay for the account even if the equipment is returned to its rightful owner.
Make the situation public. Unfortunately, the providers only work if they see a downside, and bad publicity may make them be more "helpful."
Thanks for the replies everybody. Just for the official record of what a Tmobile representative told me, they do NOT have any kind of blacklist of IMEI numbers, nor do give any assistance to customers trying to recover a stolen phone. Maybe if the police contact them, they will cooperate, but seems like a customer request won't inspire much action on their part.
A quick update on my situation for any of those who are interested. I filed a police report a few days after I posted, and I'm going to station tomorrow to ask if they have any kind of news (I'm 99% sure they don't, but maybe a visit will get them off their asses)
Also, I went to pay my bill today and found out the girl who stole my phone apparently downloaded $250 in ringtones, games, and wallpapers before I could de-activate my SIM. Of course, Tmobile adamantly refused to take any of these charges off or help me out with this situation, saying it was my responsibility. So now with the cost of the phone, 2gb microsd memory, and the tmobile charges, the thief got away with over $500. Hopefully this is a high enough amount that the police feel obligated to investigate.
Needless to say I'm very disappointed with Tmobile. Really think about it: they don't have any support system for helping customers track down their stolen property, and why would they? The customer has to buy a new cell phone.more $ for Tmobile. Sorry bcagle3, I just don't buy the privacy rights argument. The IMEI number (which, from my research, is sent out with each call and could easily be traced back to a tmobile account) is clear evidence that someone out there is using stolen property. Its not like someone buying a stolen tv off the street and putting it in their living room.every time a cell phone is used, the evidence of who is using it is right there for the cell phone company to see. I feel like they should be obligated to report that to the authorities.
Also, I would venture to guess that when someone steals a cell phone, more often than not they download a bunch of media off of Tzones before they take out the SIM. Think of all the cell phones stolen every day.any idea how much that would add up to? I really got mad when the tmobile manager (who I called about the charges) tried to make me feel better by saying how lucky I was for it only being $250, and that a lot of people get screwed for over $1,000 of Tzone charges when their phones get stolen.
My conclusion is that Tmobile (and other providers) don't have any motivation to set up any kind of system of helping customers recover their stolen property because they make a lot of money off of it. Honestly, I agree with Counsel, to some extent, that these corporations should be somewhat responsible. That might sound melodramatic to some, but it makes a lot of logical sense to me. Maybe not a class-action lawsuit, but some sort of legislation should be passed requiring them to pass along the information to local police, and let them decide to pursue it or not. What do you guys think?
Anyway, like I said, I'm going by the police station tomorrow, and hopefully since I'm over the amount that constitutes a felony theft, they will do something about it. I'll keep everybody posted.
I had my cell phone stolen and $385 worth of ring tones and music downloads charged. I did not realize this for five days since I do not use my phone all the time.
You are not to blame for a thief deciding to take what did not belong to her. Regardless of the situation, you DID NOT AUTHORIZE these transactions.
T-Mobile is telling us that it is their policy that we pay for ALL CHARGES regardless of whether or not they were authorized.
I have contacted the CA state attorney general because he settled with AT&T mobility this past month to block this company from charging for unauthorized transactions. He stated that no cell phone company should make a profit out of stolen cell phone charges.
Also, I have just filed a complaint with the state public utilities commission and the telecommunications bureau of the fcc.
We found the thief, a kid that looked inside our van parked in our driveway and just took the phone.IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. We live in a safe neighborhood, I rarely leave my phone inside the van.and it is usually tucked away until I need it.
Anyone can have their phone stolen. Any experienced thief could take it right from your pocket or purse without you even knowing it. They can bring up hundreds of dollars worth of charges in a short time.
I don't work or deal with t-mobile, but I am an AT&T rep. As far as us just looking to find your IMEI: we have a way to search for them, and if it's being used it's possible to find it. However with that said, if a customer calls in and asks me to do it, there's really no point. I'm not allowed to give out any account information from someone else's account (yes, it's your equipment, but still their account using it), it's an FCC/privacy act/whatever regulation, and I'd get fired on the spot for it.
Again, not sure about t-mobile, but at AT&T there is a "National Compliance Center" that deals with all of the law-type stuff. Get a subpoena, and you can get all the information you want about your stolen phone. The NCC will only talk with either lawyers or police though, not customers.
Also, that's crap that t-mobile charges you for stuff on your stolen phone. It's written right in AT&T policy that if a phone is stolen, we credit back 7 days worth of additional charges (once we deem them not "normal usage", ie what the customer normally uses) with no questions asked.
I hope this doesn't sound like a plug for AT&T, they're a crap company too. Just wanted to share what I know about this.
hey guys, can you help me how to block mobile phone using IMEI via internet? My mobile phone was stolen last Friday, August 8, 2008. I dont know how to block my mobile phone, please help me guys, what im going to do. thanks
My sons cell phone was stolen just a few hours ago.I've been reading what other people have posted here and I have no idea where to start. I've been calling the phone every ten minutes and texting to give the phone back. If someone can please help me! I just need to know where to start cause God knows I can't afford a crazy high phone bill because some stupid kid decided to steal my kids phone.
Thanks. I greatly appriciate any advice
Get a pickup truck and build a sandwich board in the bed out of a couple of sheets of plywood. Paint a message on the boards NEATLY, not some scrawl that makes you look like trailer trash.
Try to be creative and keep it as short as possible. People don't want to spend their time reading War and Peace.
"Ask me about my lousy T-Mobile experience." is simple, short, to the point, and invites public inquiry.
Now, take the truck, with the sign, and park it outside the T-Mobile office. Saturdays are a good day to do this. Wear nice clothes and make up some handouts which politely -- no cursing, name calling, or identifying specific people in the office -- explains your problem and how they have failed to resolve it with known technology. Explain how the thief has further stolen from you and how T-Mobile is seeking funds from you to pay for the thieves' ill-gotten gain.
They will approach you and may even call the police. You will possibly be asked to leave. You can get around that if can show that you are shopping at other stores in their parking lot. If you do leave when asked, simply pull the truck onto the public ways adjacent to the T-Mobile office and continue displaying your signs in their full view.
You can also drive through the parking lot several times a day to shop at other stores, especially those near their office. It would be good if there is a McDonald's or other fast food restaurant near them. Buy from the dollar menu and take your time eating. Keep the receipt handy. It will show the date and time of your purchase. They cannot deny you participation in lawful trade.
Several Saturdays of this should get you a response.
Also, drive the truck around town displaying the signs. Make sure they are secured in the bed so they won't blow out. You don't need a lawsuit for damaging someone's car.
just a hint: check out Theft Aware - this is a tool that can help you recover your lost or stolen mobile phone. It is completely invisible on your phone and the owner can remotely control his mobile phone and perform a variety of actions that remain invisible to thiefs.
Actually - i wrote it - just search for it on Google :-)
When I fist worked at tmobile we had a system that we could use to look up an imei number and tell every account it had ever been used on. They took it away from us (customer support) so we couldn't use it anymore. I'm sure the program still exists but we weren't given then information to use it. So, Yes, I believe they CAN still find out who's using your phone but I'm not sure who has access to that program and it doesn't seem that anyone cares. Once your sim card has been replaced they do nothing to find your phone or help with the missing information. Yes, they want to sell you a new phone so they get you under contract again then they've hooked you. If you end up buying a new phone all the ringtones and downloads are gone and if you want them replaced then you have to buy them again, wasting even more of your hard earned money. The police can get any information they want, including the content of your text messages if they have an order for it. Sadly my experience is that when customers called back after losing a phone they said the police didn't help. I think they mainly do police reports for insurance claims. The police don't seem to check into a stolen phone unless it has something to do with a big crime like an assault or missing person. I guess they figure they have better things to do. Also, if you have the insurance on the phone you could get it replaced but generally unless you lose the phone in the first few weeks you get the insurance then it's really just a rip off. I don't have insurance on my phone. Many times people would have a phone stolen and since it didn't meet certain requirements then it wasn't covered. also there's a big deductible on the replacement phone and it's almost always a used phone and can be all scratched up plus you've lost all your information and pics unless you have them saved somewhere else. Don't know about you but I don't. So the tmo take on a missing phone is you're sol. unless you want to get a new one with a contract. Sad but true.
on August 5th 2009 my purple/ultra-marine[?] sidekick slide has been stolen. It is a prepaid. Today, December 14, 2009, I am still trying to recover my accnt. MyTmobile accnt info has been changed. The fact is, the thief is still using my sidekick and my sim. My family and friends tried to contact me with my old number, when I spoke to them through my bf's phone said that they were surprised to hear a guy answering and assumed that I simply changed my number. I'm upset. Very. The sidekick slide was a birthday gift from my bf. And that number has been with me since I was 4 months pregnant with my youngest son; who is now 19 months. That phone has bite marks from him. The flash microSD card is from one of my older phones[amp'd]. I went to the TMobile store for the second time, since the last time I went was when I report it stolen. The thing is, I can not afford a new simcard, let alone another phone. Times are hard. My bf works in a retail store, and I barely get to work; due to me having a child and can't afford childcare. Since this guy changed all my info on my accnt; Tmobile said they can't do anything since the information has been changed. I look down on people that live off others, in this case -thieves. What can I possibly do now? That thief is not only using my phone, but my simcard and accnt! I feel so hopeless! I know I sound so dramatic, but you have to understand that I really don't have much else to keep in contact with my family but through my bf. That phone have sentimental value.please help someone!
It's carriers arrogannce and unwilling to help stolen/lost cell phone customers. In other countries (eg India) all carriers share a common database of IMEI numbers and any lost/stolen reported phone is blacklisted so it can not be used on ANY network ever unless you show proof of owernership. The technology to use IMEI number to block and recover cell phone has been there with all carriers but there service is lacking. We need competition from foriegn carriers to get better service. And by the way - India has one of the lowest cell phone rates/min in the world.