iPhone Stolen: Carrier Refuses to Blacklist IMEI

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by glide, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. glide macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2007
    I recently had one of my iphones stolen and called ATT to have the IMEI blacklisted. I spoke with 6 reps and 3 managers; all confirmed they are not able to do this and suggested I call AppleCare.

    AppleCare tells me that only the carrier can blacklist the IMEI. Anyone else have a situation like this? How do I get this resolved?
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Call at&t again, using 611 on your other at&t phone. Explain the situation and try again. If they won't do it, then it is time to call your local telecommunication regulatory comission or the FCC and file an official complaint about at&t.

  3. glide thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2007
    I just tried again, they told me they can only disable the phone on their network, and it should not matter anyway because the iPhone can only be used on ATT. At that point I almost lost it. Not one of the people I spoke with (there are now 7) knew what an IMEI number was or what to do with it. Guess I'll file a complaint with the FCC.
  4. ExitRightHere macrumors newbie


    Jan 12, 2008

    As a Police Officer, I often tell victims of stolen Iphones to call AT&T and cancel their IMEI number so I guess this is a bad idea now? It's going to be great with 2.0 because of the wipe feature. It's ashamed that AT&T employees are so ignorant when it comes to the cellphone technology.
  5. oliverlubin macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    try going to a large ATT local store and talk a technician there. phone support might not have the know-how in this area.

    you might also try posting this on Digg and The Consumerist. it's an important issue and the kind of thing that ATT will probably pay attention to if it gains enough interest.
  6. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2006
    So what was AT&T's suggestion for you then? Did they want to cancel your account? They have to provide a way to stop the charges once they know the phone is not in the owner's possession.
  7. marykay9507 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2008
    If you can get to a store, it would be better-- there is no reason why they can't help you-- my mother in law lost her phone (not an iPhone) and when I called, they did nothing for me; I went to a store and they immediately took care of the situation, but did not seem surprised that no one would help me over the phone.
  8. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    The person probably already unlocked it and changed the IMEI number.
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Basically, AT&T kills the SIM card...

    in the iPhone. The IMEI number, "in the hands of the service provider "should" be able to block your phone so even if the THIEF changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. Though you may not get your phone back, at least it's useless to the THIEF as well, and this eliminates them trying to sell a disabled phone." Now, I spoke with AT&T just a few weeks ago and they said that they could in fact block my phone if someone had stolen it via the IMEI number. KMA (Keep Me Advised) or PM me and I'll try to locate my earlier post. :(
  10. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    i thought that the wipe feature only worked on exchange enabled phones, i.e. company iphones
  11. BigDaddy5 macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2006
    Here are some facts about IMEI blacklisting. Typically US carriers do not do it. EU carries maintain and, as far as I know, share a blacklist for IMEI's to prevent people from stealing a phone and using it on another network. US carriers do not share such a list. As far as I know, they usually don't even bother to blacklist a phone at all.

    When a phone is stolen and reported, they de-activate the sim card. They do not do anything with the phone, however. So no charges will incur on the account, but the phone is free-game, unfortunately.

    ExitRightHere - With the hassle involved in actually getting it done, I would advise you not to recommend that to victims. I would suggest you recommend they call their service provider and the service provider will de-activate the sim card, preventing the theif from racking up their bill.

    Now it's been a while, but I think Verizon maintains a blacklist of ESN's (CDMA IMEI's). I haven't looked into Verizon in about 4 years though, so I don't recall if that is indeed correct.
  12. Pattycerts macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2007
    The day I signed up for AT&T they got my IMEI number. Every phone since then I have purchased away from the store, and never gave them another IMEI.

    Basically, blacklisting the IMEI is worthless, and wouldn't make a big deal about it. I doubt they even logged my phones IMEI. Even if they did all the person that found it has to do is put his SIM in the phone and it should work.
  13. f1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2007
    Most GSM Carriers in North America usually only deactivate the SIM Card. I've been with several GSM Carriers across North America and lost my phone on 3 different occasions, not a single one of theGSM carriers would blacklist the IMEI. on CDMA its a different story, CDMA phones theoretically only work on the network they were originally branded for, so if a CDMA phone is stolen that phone NEEDS to be blacklisted so that the actual accountholder does not incur any charges.
  14. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    That is correct. It won't wipe a phone unless you are using Exchange.
  15. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    Slow down internet lawyer. In the US, there is no IMEI blacklist to add it to.
  16. Snide macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2005

    Thanks for the chuckle...

    Bottom line: Don't lose your phone!

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