How to Do a “Blacklist Check” Before Buying a Used Phone

blacklist check

The decision to buy a used cell phone is a heavy one. With the obvious benefits of saving money and having a contract free phone, it sounds like a no-brainer (and it is). What is often overlooked is the importance of doing a blacklist check before buying.

Buying a blacklisted phone is a very real possibility. It is something the government is avidly working to stop with its astounding growth in its own market.

blacklist check stolen phoneIn 2017, cell phone theft has been on the rise worldwide. Maybe you heard of the thief at the famous Coachella music festival in April. The thief stole phones from regular concertgoers to high fashion models.

In July, five phone thieves in Denmark stole over $700,000 worth of iPhones from a moving truck. These are the kinds of phones that would be blacklisted.

If you haven’t heard of a blacklist check, we’re here to fill you in on this fifteen year old phenomenon and its relevance to potential used phone buyers.

Today, rather than injecting fear, we’re here to educate lost smartphone souls on how to do a blacklist check before buying. In other words, we’re here to catch you before you fall. With some caution and knowledge, we’ll send you on the right path to phone shopping bliss. 

“Blacklisting? What is that?”

This term was created to describe when a smartphone owner reports their phone as bought in new condition through an act of fraud, when they report a stolen phone, or report a lost phone. Carriers will take this report and add it to the national and global blacklist database. This is a handy way to feel secure that your newly purchased device wasn’t lost or stolen.

Once blacklisted, a phone will not be compatible with any Canadian carrier. It’ll read “no service” and will no longer be good for use as a phone, but only as an iPod, interestingly enough.

blacklist checkIn case it is bought new but under fraud, it will take up to three months for the carrier to reach this discovery before blacklisting the phone.

If you or a friend ever become the victim of a lost or stolen phone, contact your carrier immediately so they can start the blacklisting process. If you ever come across a blacklisted device, also give the carrier a call. Without a doubt, this is the ideal way to get the phone back to its original owner.

How do you protect yourself from buying a lost or stolen phone?

1. By using the IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity), you can easily do a blacklist check on the aforementioned database site provided by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.

An IMEI is the unique serial number of every GSM mobile cell phone network. It is use to identify valid phones and prevent stolen or blacklisted phones from gaining access to a network. A phone’s IMEI is taped on its original box.

blacklist check phone carrierAt times, such a website can experience delays in displaying whether a phone is blacklisted at that exact moment. It is best to call the carrier to which the cell phone is locked to do a blacklist check.

A trend we’ve seen is that vendors who sell phones in their original boxes probably did not steal or randomly find them as one would think. 

“If the cell phone you are buying comes in its original box, that could be a good sign that the cell phone is legitimate,” says Wassim A.K. – President of Phone Hook-Ups

2. Ask for proof of purchase from the seller. Though it should be a surefire way to know you’re in the clear, sometimes scammers can buy phones fraudulently. Having a proof of purchase does not necessarily mean it is bought in a legitimate way. This is why running your IMEI through a database is highly recommended. 

Peace of Mind Guaranteed

blacklist check phone hook ups

There is always risk when buying used cell phones in the secondhand market whether it be Kijiji, eBay, or an in-person phone transaction. If you want to buy used while keeping your peace of mind, shop with reputable companies such as ours. 

We’re always there for those unexpected phone misfortunes life throws at you. We provide a lifetime warranty on “blacklist” with the cell phones we sell across Canada. Which means you don’t have to worry about doing a blacklist check. 

Do you have stories to share or questions to ask about this topic? We’d love to read your comments!