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Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

Contributor

Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

"For those who are unaware, the IMEI is an International Mobile Equipment Identity number which is unique to each individual mobile phone it is assigned to. It's also how providers identify your device on their network.

Europe has an IMEI Blacklist, as well as Australia... so that when a phone is reported lost or stolen, it can be blocked from use on other networks, but in North America, no such list exists. North American carriers claim that cell phone theft is not a big deal in North America, and you seriously have to wonder what drugs they are under the influence of.


Regardless of the cost of your handset, it's really sad to me that something that could be implemented so easily, is being ignored."

 

--iPhonediscussioner DRTigerlilly

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Message 1 of 28

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

Playing "Devil"s Advocate".

What is to prevent a person from calling in and claiming a phone is stolen, buy not really the case.

 ie, a person in a messy divorce calls in claiming the other persons phone is stolen, just to cause them grief. A person does it to get back at a "friend" just to be funny. A prankster doing it just to cause mayhem.

There has to be safeguard's in place to stop these type's of situation's.

On top of that, the carrier's won't make any money off the program, so why do it. It's all in the bottom line.

 

Message 2 of 28
Contributor

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

Who's to say they couldn't make any money off of it? Eg: Blacklisting Fee....

Either way I believe it is a serious issue, and no offense, but safeguards and security procedures all sound like a bunch of excuses to me. If it is possible in other countries than it is possible in the US as well. If a person has the box, receipt, proper paperwork, police report, and identification to prove that the merchandise is indeed in THEIR name... blacklisting your own STOLEN property should not be a problem. I believe it is too easy for thieves to get away with just popping out a sim card and claiming stolen property as their own. It is considered larceny. It IS a crime, and in my opinion it is treated too lightly. Mobile phones are becoming our life lines and major necessities in todays business world, and even though insurance is an option, customers should have a peace of mind in knowing that their property is protect. It may even decrease violent thefts, being that thieves would no longer be able to make much use of the property that is reported stolen. Something so simple can be of such good benefit, and it is sad that US carriers are not willing to give their customers that additional support. Bottom line.

Message 3 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

CDMA phones have an ESN blacklist for stolen or lost phones.
Probably from mobile, maybe. Smiley Happy
Message 4 of 28
Contributor

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

Thank you for posting. How affective is it, and what is the process if you don't mind?

 

I have researched the difference between GSM and CDMA technology, and I have found this website which explains each one: CDMA vs. GSM 

 

From what I have read, it is my understanding that GSM is the international standard and that CDMA devices are limited and the coverage is limited as well. 

Message 5 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

I am not expert by any means on the blacklist for CDMA phones. I know there are users well versed in it on the Verizon Wireless community. http://community.vzw.com

Verizon Wireless, Sprint, US Cellular, Cricket are CDMA carriers.
Probably from mobile, maybe. Smiley Happy
Message 6 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

 


LatoyaTrena wrote:

Who's to say they couldn't make any money off of it? Eg: Blacklisting Fee....

Either way I believe it is a serious issue, and no offense, but safeguards and security procedures all sound like a bunch of excuses to me. If it is possible in other countries than it is possible in the US as well. If a person has the box, receipt, proper paperwork, police report, and identification to prove that the merchandise is indeed in THEIR name... blacklisting your own STOLEN property should not be a problem. I believe it is too easy for thieves to get away with just popping out a sim card and claiming stolen property as their own. It is considered larceny. It IS a crime, and in my opinion it is treated too lightly. Mobile phones are becoming our life lines and major necessities in todays business world, and even though insurance is an option, customers should have a peace of mind in knowing that their property is protect. It may even decrease violent thefts, being that thieves would no longer be able to make much use of the property that is reported stolen. Something so simple can be of such good benefit, and it is sad that US carriers are not willing to give their customers that additional support. Bottom line.


 

I don't know how it operates in other countries and if it were optional for the customer, I could possibly support the concept for here in the US; but as a customer I don't reallly want to pay for such a thing within my monthly fees from the wireless service provider.  Personally, I don't see this as being a large issue, and so I would not choose to pay for the added "protection" that you advocate. 

 

I certainly don't see a cell phone as being a necessity of life, and they are relatively easy to replace and can be as expensive or inexpensive as the user chooses.  Plus as you state, the user already has available options to insure against the risk of equipment loss if they feel it is financially wise to do so.  So IMHO, the added value of such a system wouldn't outweigh it's cost and the inconvenience to those who wish to sell/gift their own personal property (cell phone) to someone else without encountering a bunch of encumbrances to being able to do so. Smiley Happy

 

Plus I doubt that many theives commit violent acts to steal only a cell phone - so I doubt it would cut down on violent crime; and I really don't want my tax dollars spent for the police support for the blacklist reporting that you suggest either.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 7 of 28
Employee

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

there's no need for it. even with ESN blocks for CDMA there are ways to change the ESN which rids the need of a blacklist.
Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

 


JFizDaWiz wrote:
there's no need for it. even with ESN blocks for CDMA there are ways to change the ESN which rids the need of a blacklist.

 

To me it seems that if the issue is large enough in a user's mind that they want to minimize the potential, just choose CDMA service - where at least the device itself does have to be provisioned on the network by it's ESN number.  For the most part that accomplishes the same thing as a "blacklist" would (with the criminal act of changing an ESN excepted, of course Smiley Wink ).

 

I have no experience with Verizon or CDMA whatsoever, but I would have to believe that if you report your phone as "stolen" to Verizon, they won't reactivate it on their network - just like at&t won't reactivate the SIM on theirs unless YOU report the SIM as being "found".  And I don't know whether a blacklist truly exists among US CDMA carriers (I've always been told that no blacklist exists in the US whatsoever); but since it is comparatively difficult to use another carrier's device with CDMA service anyway, that effectively achieves the same thing to a large degree - at least imho.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 9 of 28
Expert

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?


hme83 wrote:

 


JFizDaWiz wrote:
there's no need for it. even with ESN blocks for CDMA there are ways to change the ESN which rids the need of a blacklist.

 

To me it seems that if the issue is large enough in a user's mind that they want to minimize the potential, just choose CDMA service - where at least the device itself does have to be provisioned on the network by it's ESN number.  For the most part that accomplishes the same thing as a "blacklist" would (with the criminal act of changing an ESN excepted, of course Smiley Wink ).

 

I have no experience with Verizon or CDMA whatsoever, but I would have to believe that if you report your phone as "stolen" to Verizon, they won't reactivate it on their network - just like at&t won't reactivate the SIM on theirs unless YOU report the SIM as being "found".  And I don't know whether a blacklist truly exists among US CDMA carriers (I've always been told that no blacklist exists in the US whatsoever); but since it is comparatively difficult to use another carrier's device with CDMA service anyway, that effectively achieves the same thing to a large degree - at least imho.


actually verizon will reactivate a phone.

 

There is no blacklist within the US, the other countries blacklists are maintained by their law enforcement organizations not by the carriers. Be it CDMA or GSm a blacklist is not a deterent for the phone being reactivated, nor is it difficult to clone a imei or esn id, there are thriving blackmarket economies that do just that to resell "stolen" phones to the underground element - and there is a great demand for throw away phones.

 

I believe someone earlier in the thread mentioned something about paying for the service - curious what people are will to pay monthly so they can keep their "stolen" phone on the blacklist - might be a profitable project.

Message 10 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

 


wingrider01 wrote:

hme83 wrote:

 


JFizDaWiz wrote:
there's no need for it. even with ESN blocks for CDMA there are ways to change the ESN which rids the need of a blacklist.

 

To me it seems that if the issue is large enough in a user's mind that they want to minimize the potential, just choose CDMA service - where at least the device itself does have to be provisioned on the network by it's ESN number.  For the most part that accomplishes the same thing as a "blacklist" would (with the criminal act of changing an ESN excepted, of course Smiley Wink ).

 

I have no experience with Verizon or CDMA whatsoever, but I would have to believe that if you report your phone as "stolen" to Verizon, they won't reactivate it on their network - just like at&t won't reactivate the SIM on theirs unless YOU report the SIM as being "found".  And I don't know whether a blacklist truly exists among US CDMA carriers (I've always been told that no blacklist exists in the US whatsoever); but since it is comparatively difficult to use another carrier's device with CDMA service anyway, that effectively achieves the same thing to a large degree - at least imho.


actually verizon will reactivate a phone.

 

There is no blacklist within the US, the other countries blacklists are maintained by their law enforcement organizations not by the carriers. Be it CDMA or GSm a blacklist is not a deterent for the phone being reactivated, nor is it difficult to clone a imei or esn id, there are thriving blackmarket economies that do just that to resell "stolen" phones to the underground element - and there is a great demand for throw away phones.

 

I believe someone earlier in the thread mentioned something about paying for the service - curious what people are will to pay monthly so they can keep their "stolen" phone on the blacklist - might be a profitable project.


 

I *would* expect Verizon will reactivate a "found" phone if the original user who reported it stolen requests that it be reinstated.

 

But are you saying that a different user can set up service with Verizon using a previously reported as "stolen" ESN?  If so - thanks for the clarification. Smiley Happy

 

lol.  And just in case my position wasn't clear - I would be willing to pay $0.00 for a blacklist option.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 11 of 28
Expert

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?


hme83 wrote:

 


wingrider01 wrote:

hme83 wrote:

 


JFizDaWiz wrote:
there's no need for it. even with ESN blocks for CDMA there are ways to change the ESN which rids the need of a blacklist.

 

To me it seems that if the issue is large enough in a user's mind that they want to minimize the potential, just choose CDMA service - where at least the device itself does have to be provisioned on the network by it's ESN number.  For the most part that accomplishes the same thing as a "blacklist" would (with the criminal act of changing an ESN excepted, of course Smiley Wink ).

 

I have no experience with Verizon or CDMA whatsoever, but I would have to believe that if you report your phone as "stolen" to Verizon, they won't reactivate it on their network - just like at&t won't reactivate the SIM on theirs unless YOU report the SIM as being "found".  And I don't know whether a blacklist truly exists among US CDMA carriers (I've always been told that no blacklist exists in the US whatsoever); but since it is comparatively difficult to use another carrier's device with CDMA service anyway, that effectively achieves the same thing to a large degree - at least imho.


actually verizon will reactivate a phone.

 

There is no blacklist within the US, the other countries blacklists are maintained by their law enforcement organizations not by the carriers. Be it CDMA or GSm a blacklist is not a deterent for the phone being reactivated, nor is it difficult to clone a imei or esn id, there are thriving blackmarket economies that do just that to resell "stolen" phones to the underground element - and there is a great demand for throw away phones.

 

I believe someone earlier in the thread mentioned something about paying for the service - curious what people are will to pay monthly so they can keep their "stolen" phone on the blacklist - might be a profitable project.


 

I *would* expect Verizon will reactivate a "found" phone if the original user who reported it stolen requests that it be reinstated.

 

But are you saying that a different user can set up service with Verizon using a previously reported as "stolen" ESN?  If so - thanks for the clarification. Smiley Happy

 

lol.  And just in case my position wasn't clear - I would be willing to pay $0.00 for a blacklist option.


they will reactivate the phone - have had it happen on lost / stolen verizon phone that we issue for business use.

 

As far as a blacklist option - someone has to foot the bill for all the work required to setup and maintaince a nationwide database, support the hardware to run it and maintain it, give access to it - after all the nationwide list of auto vin numbers database is supported by your taxes and license / registration costs. Same with criminal checks - ncic, interpol and the various world wide criminal information networks are maintained by association fees, etc - bottom line someone has to end up footing the bill - more then likely if one ever does becomes federally mandated the end user will foot it by additional monthly reoccuring charges on your bill.

Message 12 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

 


wingrider01 wrote:
they will reactivate the phone - have had it happen on lost / stolen verizon phone that we issue for business use.

 

As far as a blacklist option - someone has to foot the bill for all the work required to setup and maintaince a nationwide database, support the hardware to run it and maintain it, give access to it - after all the nationwide list of auto vin numbers database is supported by your taxes and license / registration costs. Same with criminal checks - ncic, interpol and the various world wide criminal information networks are maintained by association fees, etc - bottom line someone has to end up footing the bill - more then likely if one ever does becomes federally mandated the end user will foot it by additional monthly reoccuring charges on your bill.


 

Your company has reactivated a phone on Verizon that they had previously reported as being lost/stolen?  Or some completely unrelated party has been able to do so?  And if so - how did your company know that had happened?  Just curious as to the specifics since that seems to contradict what was indicated earlier in the thread re: Verizon (although since a link to a specific thread wasn't provided I didn't spend time searching Verizon's website to read the discussion that was referenced).

 

To your second paragraph - my point exactly.  Nothing is "free" - either the individuals who desire the service pay for it or we all do in the end.  There are already paid methods in place for specific users to minimize the impact of equipment loss (i.e. insurance), so I don't see that a national blacklist will accomplish much of anything. I'd rather have my revenue $'s used to enhance the network (carrier supported blacklist) or my tax $'s spent on more critical services (government supported blacklist).

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 13 of 28
Expert

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?


hme83 wrote:

 


wingrider01 wrote:
they will reactivate the phone - have had it happen on lost / stolen verizon phone that we issue for business use.

 

As far as a blacklist option - someone has to foot the bill for all the work required to setup and maintaince a nationwide database, support the hardware to run it and maintain it, give access to it - after all the nationwide list of auto vin numbers database is supported by your taxes and license / registration costs. Same with criminal checks - ncic, interpol and the various world wide criminal information networks are maintained by association fees, etc - bottom line someone has to end up footing the bill - more then likely if one ever does becomes federally mandated the end user will foot it by additional monthly reoccuring charges on your bill.


 

Your company has reactivated a phone on Verizon that they had previously reported as being lost/stolen?  Or some completely unrelated party has been able to do so?  And if so - how did your company know that had happened?  Just curious as to the specifics since that seems to contradict what was indicated earlier in the thread re: Verizon (although since a link to a specific thread wasn't provided I didn't spend time searching Verizon's website to read the discussion that was referenced).

 

To your second paragraph - my point exactly.  Nothing is "free" - either the individuals who desire the service pay for it or we all do in the end.  There are already paid methods in place for specific users to minimize the impact of equipment loss (i.e. insurance), so I don't see that a national blacklist will accomplish much of anything. I'd rather have my revenue $'s used to enhance the network (carrier supported blacklist) or my tax $'s spent on more critical services (government supported blacklist).


The phone was reported stolen, it was reactivated by a individual who was then arrested by law enforcement for controlled substance abuse and trafficking, the serial number and etched id number was on file in the police report, we got lucky that one of my people was working on a system for evidence tracking for the agency in question - a complete fluke. The phone was active and in use when it was recovered.

 

Either way you look at it - you will end up paying for it - federal or local carrier supplied, the key point is the a carrier supported list is ineffective unless it is national and supported by every carrier and manufacturer of the devices, it is simpler ffor the id number to be supplied to the national database by the manufacturer of the device for entry into teh archives with a flag for the carrier, but the issue here is carrier unlocked phones - add to the simple fact that cloning techniques are available to those that really want to use the phone. The blacklist would only handle the the "casual" phones

 

Botom line - federal or carrier supported, in some method the user will end up paying for it in the end, if federal it will be through and additional line item on your bill for goverment charges, if carrier it will be in the base cost of the service for the phone, a percentage increase in your carrier service charges

Message 14 of 28
Master

Re: Why is there no IMEI Blacklist in the US?

 


wingrider01 wrote:
The phone was reported stolen, it was reactivated by a individual who was then arrested by law enforcement for controlled substance abuse and trafficking, the serial number and etched id number was on file in the police report, we got lucky that one of my people was working on a system for evidence tracking for the agency in question - a complete fluke. The phone was active and in use when it was recovered.

................


Interesting - thanks for providing more details re: your company's experience re: a stolen phone with Verizon.

 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 15 of 28
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