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How To Block A Stolen Mobile Phone Using IMEI Number

A mobile phone's IMEI number PHOTO: Courtesy

Following the unrest that has swept the country due to protests, many have fallen victim to pickpockets nicking their valuable possessions including money, phones and accessories like watches and chains. Losing a phone in particular can be very distressing, as it sets a person back in terms of accessibility.

With the evolution of technology mobile phone owners are now empowered with tools to help safeguard their personal information and prevent unauthorized usage of their devices in case of theft or misplacement. Through the use of the device’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number, one can block a stolen phone from intrusion, and consequently help track the phone.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to block a stolen phone with the IMEI number:

1. Locate Your IMEI Number
The IMEI number is a unique 15-digit code assigned to every mobile device with a SIM card. A mobile user can find it by dialling *#06# on the phone’s keypad. It is also on the device’s original packaging, purchase receipt, or the phone settings (usually under “About Phone” or “General” settings).

2. Report The Theft To Your Network Provider.
The mobile phone user should immediately contact their mobile network provider and report that their device has been stolen or is missing. They should also provide their mobile phone’s IMEI number, along with details of when and where the phone was stolen.

The network provider will then block the IMEI number on their network, making the stolen phone incapable of making calls or using data services.

3. File A Police Report
After reporting to the network provider, it is paramount that the mobile phone user files a report with the police and provides the relevant information regarding the device including the IMEI number.

The police report also holds the details concerning the theft and hence will assist in claiming insurance as well as recovering the stolen phone.

4. Monitor The Device’s Status
The mobile phone owner is advised to maintain contact with the network provider and the police to monitor the status of the stolen phone.

In the event the mobile phone is recovered, the network provider may be able to unblock the IMEI so that the owner can resume using the device.

5. Precautionary Steps
Upon the recovery of the stolen phone, it is advisable to keep a record of the phone’s IMEI number in a safe place as it will hasten the blocking process should the phone be stolen again.

It is recommended to install tracking apps or security software on the device to aid in locating it in case of theft or misplacement.

6. Remain Alert
The stolen phone may have been subject to manipulation by the thief while trying to gain access, and hence once recovered, the device’s owner should be extra cautious of suspicious activities like attempts to access accounts or billing of unusual charges.

Should the device’s owner experience any unordinary activity on their device, he/she is advised to report to their network provider and take the necessary steps to secure their accounts.

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