When a cell phone is reported stolen, the wireless operator will add the phones IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) to an international database of stolen phones – also known as the blacklist.  When a phone is listed in the blacklist database, it will prevent the device from working on a commercial GSM/HSPA/LTE network.

Check the Blacklist Before Buying Used

Consumers can also use a search tool at the website protectyourdata.ca to check that they’re not buying stolen property before completing a purchase of a used phone.

While checking that the phone is not currently blacklisted is a must when buying a used phone.  It is also a good idea to check with the operator (Bell/TELUS/Rogers…) that originally sold the phone to make sure the phone has been paid for in full.  There have been cases when subsidized phones have been re-sold, when they have not been paid for in full, causing problems for the purchaser of the used phone.

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