People buy used phones almost every day. They’re a great option if you don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices that comes with new smartphones. But when it comes to used phone, there are things you need to keep in mind. If you’re not careful, you may buy a blacklisted phone. What does that mean? The following information will explain everything you need to know: how to check if your phone is blacklisted and what to do with a blacklisted phone.
Did I Buy a Blacklisted Phone?
In order to find out if your phone is blacklisted, you need to locate your device’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number or ESN (Electronic Serial number). In either case, this number is like a social security number for your phone, which identifies the individual device.
To find these numbers, you can type #06# into the keypad, and your IMEI or ESN should be displayed. You may also be able to find it on the back of your phone, on your battery, or even on the box itself. You can also go to Settings > About > IMEI/ESN (depending on which one you have), and it should be displayed there.
Is It Clean?
Once you find the number, you check it by calling the carrier. Of course, this takes time – especially if you’re put on hold for several minutes. If you don’t have the time or patience to do that, you can use a mobile diagnostic like PhoneCheck. It will also give you a certification you know the facts about the device.
What is the Blacklist?
If a phone is blacklisted, it means that the device was reported lost or stolen. The blacklist is a database of all the IMEI or ESN numbers that have been reported. If you have a device with a blacklisted number, your carrier may block services. In the worst-case scenario, the local authorities could seize your phone.
What Should I Do If I Have a Blacklisted Phone?
If you discover that you have a device that is blacklisted, discuss how you can return the phone to the carrier or its original owner. Depending on the carrier, you may be entitled to a full refund. However, if you bought it from an individual seller, let them know that the IMEI or ESN has been blacklisted and hopefully they will give you your money back.
AT&T also offers some advice. According to ATTMobilityCare, only the account holder or carrier can remove the block, so you need to try and contact them and it could take up to 24 hours to get it removed.
Other Things to Consider
If you choose to keep a device with a blacklisted number, you will most likely not be able to use cellular services. In other words, you will not be able to use your device as a phone. However, you will still have the ability to play music, movies, or games. If that works for you, then it’s ook, but it’s not really why you buy a phone. Make sure to check it, and return it if possible in order to avoid future problems.
Discovering you have a blacklisted phone can be a hassle. You’ll have to talk to your carrier, or the person who sold you the phone, and hopefully get it unblocked. However, you can avoid all of these issues by researching the device’s number first. Remember – finding out about it now will save you unneeded problems later.