I was recently speaking to a friend who had bought a used cell phone for her husband to use at his new job. Like most people, she wanted to save as much money as she could and didn't want to spend $600+ dollars for the iPhone 6Plus when she could spend about half that amount.
So, she and her husband went to a store that sells secondhand phones, picked one they like for what they thought was a good price and went home with their phone.
They discovered later when they tried to conect the phone to her cellular account that the phone had been reported stolen, They went back to the store, told the owner what had happened and he traded them the stolen one for another phone he assured them wasn't stolen property.
However, that phone also turned out to be stolen.
I still remember the days when cell phones had just become available to the public when if your phone had been stolen, there was nothing to stop someone from using your phone after they had stolen it or from selling it to someone else who could also use it, etc.
Sure, you could call your provider to report the stolen phone and have it disconnected from your network. But, the thief could simply have it connected to another one who would have no way of knowing that the phone they were connecting to was stolen property.
Thankfully, those days are coming to an end and there are ways to prevent your phone from being used by a thief who has stolen it, as well as to protect yourself from buying a secondhand phone that had been stolen from someone else.
Every cell phone has a unique IMEI number assigned to it and no two phones will have the same number. These numbers are stored in databases which are easily searchable by the public.
Bookmark these addresses on your cellphone browser for when you go shopping to buy a secondhand cell phone for yourself or a friend.
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