Your iPhone got stolen? Lost a Samsung phone? Bought a stolen LG phone? Found a lost HTC phone?
If none of this has happened to you, you probably have a friend or family member who’s been burnt by one of those situations.
Every day, thousands of people go to classified websites such as Kijiji and Craiglist to buy pre-owned smartphones. Truth is, most of them don’t know how to inspect a phone before buying it. As a result, many people (and I tell you from my experience, MANY!!) decide to trust the seller.
They buy phones and insert their SIM cards, only to find out later after the sellers take off that their newly bought phone won’t make calls. On the other hand, there are some who do their homework. They meet with the seller, test the phone, and a few days later, the phone no longer reads their SIM card.
In a world full of secondhand smartphone deals, “No Service” means cross your fingers and hope that your phone is not blacklisted, and if it is..well, when you recover, contact us and we will hook you up with a legitimate pre-owned phone.. Oh sorry, advertising my business is in my blood. I should show more sympathy.
A phone gets blacklisted when the owner reports it as lost or stolen to their service provider (Fido, Rogers, Bell, Telus, etc.), or if they buy it in a fraudulent manner (fake ID, stolen credit card, etc). To be more specific, each phone has a unique IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. This number makes it easier for service providers to unlock or block phones. Once a phone gets blacklisted in Canada, it will be included in the national database, and that database is connected to the U.S., U.K., and other developed countries. This will prevent the phone from reading SIM cards of carriers in countries that share the blacklist database.
For prevention, read our blog on how to do a “Blacklist Check” before buying a used phone.