The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique 15-digit code used to identify an individual GSM mobile telephone to a GSM network.

Mobile theft prevention using IMEI

There was a recent post on Karachi Metblogs about the increase in the number of snatched mobile phones (and other crimes) in Karachi. The figures are quite alarming. This is from a leading newspaper and is becoming more and more common:

The bandits in various parts of the metropolis snatched at least 69 cell phones, 17cars and 25 motorcycles on Wednesday
Things seem quite desperate and no amount of law enforcement (if you ignore the allegations that they themselves are the culprits) or cries from citizens have been effective at stemming this trend. Though the situation is much better in Islamabad, you do occasionally lose your mobile and it isn’t fun. I lost one to a mugging very soon after I arrived here though thankfully, there hasn’t been any incident after that.

So how do you deal with this threat? Haven’t all the big players in the mobile market managed to come up with a solution to something as simple as mobile theft? Try IMEI.

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique 15-digit code used to identify an individual GSM mobile telephone to a GSM network.

According to UK Police’s National Mobile Phone Crime Unit’s website, this ID can be used to lock and effectively immobilize a mobile (no pun intended). The site has details on how this works and how you can find out your phone’s ID.

For Pakistanis, you may report your stolen mobile on the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee website. I have no idea how well it works, but if all the victims of this crime started doing this, it may just be the deterrent that is required to put an end to this menace. Happy mobiling.

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