[Resolved] How to find out if a phone is stolen (bad ESN/IMEI)Support

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  1. blanc0

    blanc0 New Member

    Hi everybody!
    I am on vacation in New York for the first time (im from belgium) and i was looking around for an unlocked htc one phone since they are cheaper in the USA than in Europe.

    I found a small electronics store on 8th avenue that sells it for $460, telling me its on sale. Seems kinda dodgy to me since HTC sells the phone unlocked on their website for $599.
    Is there a way to find out if it has been reported stolen or if it is a refurbished one? If i test the phone by putting my belgian gsm simcard in it and it works, is it possible that it would get locked at a later point?

    followup question while i'm at it... i found other shops selling the at&t and t-mobile locked versions cheaper than the unlocked ones. is there any difference in the software on the phones or can i buy one of those, unlock m and have exactly the same phone as the unlocked one HTC sells on their website?

  2. InfernalByte

    InfernalByte Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a database that lists stolen devices, what I do know is that just by putting your sim in doesn't mean that the phone is not stolen. I bought a Sony in the UK and it worked for 7 days before Orange UK remotely shut it down. Go with your gut. Beware!
  3. KOLIO

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  4. Marzy1357

    Marzy1357 Member

    Usually carrier blocks IMEI. So if it's stolen in USA, it will not work in USA, but you should be fine anywhere else in the world.

    I purchased One X last year in UK and it stopped working after 2 weeks, I've spoken with o2 and they confirmed that IMEI is blocked, it was insurance fraud or something, but anyway I left UK permanently and soon as I left UK and crossed to France it was working fine and it's working well in Lithuania and other countries.
  5. marctronixx

    marctronixx Moderator Moderator

    in short, as previous poster mentioned, one can call the carrier, give them the MEID of the phone and the carrier will know right then if its stolen or not.

    if the seller is not willing to offer this info, then leave. nothing you can do.

    if you are suspicious of the phone and the seller, walk walk away.

    many times, things are too good to be true.

    a phone made for ATT, as an example, has somewhat different software than a phone made for verizon. subtle differences. check this thread for more info:


    no need to continue this discussion as the ops concerns have been addressed and this thread will not continue to talk about using stolen devices in other parts of the country.
    KOLIO likes this.
  6. Casval

    Casval Member

    I felt rather proud of myself this afternoon as I snagged a 64 GB HTC One for a nice price. The seller specified that the IMEI number had not been verified, but the seller has positive feedback after thousands of transactions so I bought it without too much thought.

    However, because I bought it off of eBay, I'm remaining optimistically cautious. If it DOES have a bad IMEI, is there any way I can still use the phone for AT&T? I heard flashing a new ROM to it would fix it. Is this true?

    Or will I just have to sell it as an international phone and recoup my losses?
  7. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    A ROM won't touch the IMEI number.

    You can try to work with the company, but its usually blacklisted because it was stolen or they are owed money.

    They aren't likely to allow it back on the network
    BRAINZ2013 likes this.
  8. BRAINZ2013

    BRAINZ2013 Well-Known Member Contributor

    Yes and if u are near philly or new york you have to be careful of which device you buy from eBay you can check to see if its a problem aka blacklisted its a web site . now if its cool as said from another good known member rxpert said no ROM will change any imei that is program into the ril aka radio of the device its like a name you and I have its just a number that identified the device . but give me a few and I post that web site for blacklisted or you can call and see and at that time you can return to eBay user for a full refund
  9. marctronixx

    marctronixx Moderator Moderator

    To the op,

    Sound advice thus far.

    At the end of the day, use your own judgment, however as mentioned, it could be potentially blacklisted.

    Contact the carrier if the device and verify.

    Contact the dealer and work out something with them.

    Seek legal advice locally in your state.

    Good points all.
    Rxpert83 likes this.
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