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- With rising cases of mobile phone snatching in the national capital, the Delhi Police is now planning to close ranks with internet service providers and the department of telecommunications to block stolen or robbed phones.
- This will be done by using the device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
What is IMEI number?
- The International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network.
- It has 15 digits, and is like one’s phone’s unique identity. When one uses the internet or places a call through cellular service provider, then this number is used to verify the identity of your device. If one has a dual SIM phone, then one will have two IMEI numbers, one for each slot.
How to check IMEI number?
- Device manufacturers print it on stickers and paste them on the device and its box. It is usually found on the back of your phone, under the battery pack.
- However, the easiest way to find it is to dial *#06# on your mobile, and your screen will immediately display the IMEI number of your current device.
How is it useful?
- Its operational use aside, the IMEI number can help network providers track down a device in case it gets stolen or is lost. Once such loss or theft is reported, the carrier/s can deny the device access to the cellular network even with a new SIM card. This will practically render the device useless as it won’t be able to make or receive calls.
How is the police using this to check thefts?
- The plan works by immediately registering “data of all stolen phones and uploading it on our servers and the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS)”.
- Police are also helping victims register on the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) to block their stolen phones.
Are there any challenges?
- According to the police, few gangs have started formatting stolen phones. Mobile phones which don’t have a flexible operating system can be broken into. There is a software that can change IMEI numbers of the phones as well. This might cause trouble for law enforcement agencies in blocking stolen devices.