How to track a stolen phone using IMEI

Statistics show that an average of 70 million phones gets lost yearly. With the rise in technology, mobile phone usage has experienced a major spike and this has resulted in an unusual increase in stealing and losing of this device. The thought of losing our phones can be scary, and even worse is someone stealing them. Like our clones, they carry around personal information and cost a lot of money.

What's worse is that in the absence of a SIM card, Internet access, or GPS location all hope might seem lost. But did you know that you can use the IMEI number to track your lost phone?

What is IMEI and why should you care about it?

IMEI is The International Mobile Station Equipment Identity /aɪˈmiː/. It is a unique identifier across all mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones too. GSM networks use the IMEI number to identify valid devices and stop a stolen phone from accessing the network.

The IMEI number also reveals loads of other details about a phone. These include the brand and model, year of release, and specifications.

How to track a stolen or lost device using IMEI

In the case of theft, with the help of the law enforcement agencies or your network operator, the unique Mobile IMEI number may be the best bet for recovery or tracking. If the stolen phone was turned off or reset by the thief, it is almost impossible to recover such a phone through any other methods.

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity of a device a unique 15-digit code authorized by GSMA is classified into three types. White List: the IMEI numbers in this list have not been registered or modified with the authority. Black List: here contains a list of reported, stolen, or changed IMEI numbers. Gray List: This list contains the IMEI numbers of the devices, which is neither Black List nor White List.

Whenever a mobile device uses a certain network to make or receive a call, send or receive a message, its IMEI number is automatically tracked. The IMEI reposted and listed in the blacklist will be checked for any usage by another carrier bundle and the device is caught. Police then trace the mobile phone’s location via network usage used by the SIM card in the stolen or lost mobile.

Looking for a lost or stolen mobile phone can be a frustrating experience. Either it’s simply somewhere around the corner but of sight or has been stolen from you. Either way, you can control the situation by preventing further usage of the device.