If someone reports that his smartphone has been stolen or lost, it will result in a blacklisted phone. Therefore, the carrier will block the phone from being used. It’s also very important to keep in mind that trying to unlock a phone that has been either lost or stolen is an illegal act.
However, even if you’ve legitimately bought a phone from a third-party seller, it can become difficult to use the device.
How to find out if you have a blacklisted phone
You can simply use the IMEI number of your phone to check if the device has been blacklisted or not. Each and every mobile device out there has an IMEI number, which means that yours cannot possibly be an exception.
By simply dialing *#06#, you can find out the IMEI number of your smartphone, as it will display on your screen. Furthermore, you will have to contact your carrier to see if the phone has been blacklisted or not. You can access the official website of your carrier to check if your device is on the blacklist or not.
How to unlock blacklisted smartphones
People may choose to unlock a phone if it has been blacklisted and they plan to use it with a different carrier. Here are a few steps they usually take to try to unlock the phone:
- Contact the main carrier: It’s a good idea to contact the original carrier if you are the original account owner. He might be able to unlock the phone, and he will demand proof of ownership.
- Try a third-party service: A lot of people don’t know that certain third-party services are able to unlock a blacklisted phone if they have the IMEI number.
- Search in the phone’s menu: Some smartphones come equipped with a built-in option to unlock them in case they’re blacklisted.
Avoid buying used phones
Surely buying a used phone might sound tempting, especially because they usually come at about half their original price. If you’re short on money and you need a smartphone fast to replace your old one that has just taken a warm and devastating bath, you might find it very useful to head over to eBay to get a new phone, even if it’s used. However, it’s not mandatory to be the reincarnation of Isaac Newton to figure out that there are certain risks in this scheme. For instance, a lot of used phones may be a bit damaged, or at least they will never work at their optimum level anymore. In other words, don’t be surprised if the used phone you’ve just bought lags a lot or freezes when you need it the most.
Another strong disadvantage is that a used phone could also be blacklisted. However, buying from a reputable seller who has lots of positive feedback is one of the best ways to avoid such a scenario. It’s also a good idea to buy from authorized dealers or online marketplaces, as such sellers rarely or never sell blacklisted smartphones.
You can also simply ask the seller for the IMEI number of the phone. Therefore, you can check the IMEI and see if that specific phone has been blacklisted or not.
Before you decide to buy a smartphone that has already been used by someone else, it’s always a good idea to check if the phone has been blacklisted or not.
Tim M. Hill helped bring Digital-Overload from a weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. He continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a writer to Digital-Overload, Tim mainly covers mobile news and gadgets.