Q:

How do you change an IMEI number?

A:

Quick Answer

An International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique number assigned to every mobile phone, used by cellular networks to keep track of every device. In most countries, changing IMEI numbers is illegal and requires accessing basic functions in a mobile phone's software.

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Full Answer

Generally, an IMEI is a 15-digit number. Victims of mobile phone theft can instruct cellular carriers to blacklist a particular IMEI, making use of stolen devices impossible. This is also why it is a crime to change IMEI numbers on a phone; it circumvents the intent of the law to combat mobile device theft. Wiretapping operations can also use IMEI numbers to target specific phones.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What does IMEI stand for?

    A:

    IMEI is an acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity. The IMEI number found on most cell phones helps to identify the phone's origin, serial number and model.

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  • Q:

    What is an IMEI checker?

    A:

    An IMEI checker is used to find out information about a specific mobile device by looking up its unique International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI. The most common use of an IMEI checker is to ensure that a device is not stolen and can be registered on a mobile network.

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  • Q:

    Where do you look for the ESN on your mobile phone?

    A:

    The electronic serial number, or ESN, of a mobile phone is printed either on the device or on the box that it came in, or it can be looked up using the device itself. ESNs are sets of numbers used to identify all mobile phones in the United States, and they are assigned to the devices by manufacturers.

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  • Q:

    Is it legal to change IMEI numbers?

    A:

    A bill introduced in the U.S. Congress called the Mobile Device Theft Deterrence Act of 2013 would have made it illegal to change the International Mobile Equipment Identity number on a cellphone, but the bill did not pass, according to GovTrack.us. In the United Kingdom, the Mobile Telephones Re-Programming Act of 2002 made it illegal to change an IMEI number, according to the Staffordshire Police.

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