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trinity

Lost Mobile Phone Trace Using Imei Number

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Hi guys...

Thought to share an incident which happened to me last week related to my mobile phone. Hope this will help at least one of you to prevent future trouble caused due to ignoring simple things in day to day life...

Last week i received a call from a Police Station in Colombo area inquiring about my mobile connection. The caller identified him as an officer attached to that police station.

He told me my Name, Phone number, Address which the mobile bill is being sent and the purchasing date of the mobile connection as well as the IMEI Number of my phone.

Then he told me that they are investigating about a misplaced phone and that the TRCSL information related to the missing phone are indicating my details. I was asked to visit the police station to verify the details. So i went there and the person who lodged the complaint was also present at the station. He has produced a Mobile phone box which carries an IMEI number identical to IMEI number of the phone which i'm using now. (Surprise!!!!)

His phone, same model as mine was bought on 2009 and he has lost it on 2012Jan. I bought my phone also on 2009 and since then i'm still using it... So i had to prove my story to the Police and convince them that i used mine from 2009. I didnt obtain a bill for the purchase as i bought it brand new from a known party.

I showed them the photos which were taken from 2009 to date and there are over 2000 photos stored in the phone. Police denied it saying that the photos are stored in the memory card and it could be swapped. Anyway by that time the person who lodged the complaint had understood that my story is genuine and even apologized to me for the trouble.

But he insisted police to find him his phone... Most of the Sri Lankan Police people are being so narrow minded and uneducated, started to hook me to the story and denied further investigations. I was asked to come to the police once again with the person who sold me the phone.

I clearly stated to the Police and the party who lodged the complaint that if they continue on this path, they will not find the correct phone but will ended up harassing me for a crime which i did no do..

So for the sake of respecting the common law of the country avoiding further complications, i visited the police one last time with the person who sold me the phone. He had his account statements which i deposited money with my name and i was able to find messages and calender entries which are stored in the Phone memory dated back to 2010 & 2011.

Ah i also had the phone box with me and it carried a different IMEI number than of my phone. I produced that to the police also..

Luckily second time the case was forwarded to the OIC of that division and he clearly understood the matter.. He just looked at the phone boxes and told the complaining party, "this is what happened here, phone comes to our country in various ways and when they are being sold most of the time boxes are get swapped, Its useless to track the phone using the IMEI number on the phone box. I believe these gentlemen are genuine and its pointless to waste their time over this matter.." Then he instructed a sergeant to close the case and Open up a new one to find the correct IMEI number of that lost phone using his connection data.. We were released with an apology for the trouble and thanking for our time. (Surprising attitude it is,,, )

Key facts...

1. Complaint was logged in Jan 2012. they have received the information form TRCSL on Feb 2013. (Over an year to process data)

2. TRCSL is unable to provide details of IMEI usage older than 3 months of current date. (Otherwise case could be solved very easily by tracking my data before the mentioned date of misplacing the phone in concern)

3. Police had not tried to find the data of the Mobile connection on the person who lodged the complaint. If so, they could've easily found the correct IMEI number and had a chance to find the correct phone itself.

Things learnt

1. When you are buying a phone, make sure both IMEI number of the phone and Box are Identical and get it mentioned in the bill also.

2. If you are Buying it from a friend or some other party which cannot produce a bill, i suggest you to keep proper records of the purchasing date and all.. (could take a photo of the phone with IMEI number visible and keep it Uploaded in google or similar place where you could prove the authenticity.)

This is a very small incident... But imagine that the phone box appearing at a place where a serious crime had happened, or in possession of a terrorist...Then they bust your balls at the 4th floor and then ask you the questions... ammo,..

This is a messed up country.. play safe everywhere every time...

Cheers!!

Edited by trinity
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very important info for all the guys who use phones,thanks for sharing trinity:)

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Glad that you have escaped and thanks for sharing it!. To add to above, if you guys using new samsung divices with GPS, make sure to register with samsungdive.com, find my mobile service . You can activate the gps by a pc and can track the phone or even erase,lock it.

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This is why I always buy phones from the suppliers I know well, and also phones with the same IMEI number as mentioned in the box.

bdw did your phone come with original accessories?

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This is why I always buy phones from the suppliers I know well, and also phones with the same IMEI number as mentioned in the box.

bdw did your phone come with original accessories?

Thats a good practice you have mate... Yes,, i received all original accessories.. 3 pin charger,protective casing, original head set, TV out cable, display stand etc... One of my friend bought the same model phone later year and he received mixed parts.,,. two pin charger, different type of a headset etc,,,

Those days never cared about the IMEI numbers as there was no TRCSL established back then and police was not doing these kind of jobs i think.. actually this type of a thing, i never dreamt of happening,,

Edited by trinity

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Trinity, the TRCSL was established a long time ago, its just that the rules were not strictly applied.

Does your IMEI number match the IMEI number on the phone label? There might also be instances where the IMEI number is cloned.

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Thats a good practice you have mate... Yes,, i received all original accessories.. 3 pin charger,protective casing, original head set, TV out cable, display stand etc... One of my friend bought the same model phone later year and he received mixed parts.,,. two pin charger, different type of a headset etc,,,

Those days never cared about the IMEI numbers as there was no TCRSL established back then and police was not doing these kind of jobs i think.. actually this type of a thing, i never dreamt of happening,,

well I was just checking whether your phone is stolen one, if you got the original accessories it cant be stolen. I got a friend in Negombo who does phone business he says its not a good idea to buy phones without box and non original accessories

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Trinity, the TRCSL was established a long time ago, its just that the rules were not strictly applied.

Does your IMEI number match the IMEI number on the phone label? There might also be instances where the IMEI number is cloned.

Ah i didn't know that...

Yes IMEI number on the phone matches with the number on the phone label.. About cloning IMEI numbers, when this happened to me i also did some research on that,,, a contact of a friend of mine told us that chinese replicas brought in to country by cloning IMEI numbers... so can see that its a bit of a mess out there with phones and their origin....

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well I was just checking whether your phone is stolen one, if you got the original accessories it cant be stolen. I got a friend in Negombo who does phone business he says its not a good idea to buy phones without box and non original accessories

It can be stolen overseas and bought over. The so called original accessories can be duplicates from China.

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well I was just checking whether your phone is stolen one, if you got the original accessories it cant be stolen. I got a friend in Negombo who does phone business he says its not a good idea to buy phones without box and non original accessories

Hypothetically if its a stolen one, it should be stolen from a shop or dealer as i bought it brand new.. The guy who sold it to me is working in a very reputed organization and is a very trusted fellow,, (He is doing phone thingy as a side business) its extremely unlikely that he would do such a thing...

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It can be stolen overseas and bought over. The so called original accessories can be duplicates from China.

Yeh that can happen,... how are we to validate such things??? Even the OIC of the police who handled the case told us that phones are bought in to country separately and boxes and other stuff comes in bulk and once everything is here, they just put em together and start selling everywhere,,,,

Edited by trinity

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Wow... Lucky break trinity...as you said, in this messed up country even something more serious could easily happen. Thanks for the info machan.

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Yeh that can happen,... how are we to validate such things??? Even the OIC of the police who handled the case told us that phones are bought in to country separately and boxes and other stuff comes in bulk and once everything is here, they just put em together and start selling everywhere,,,,

http://www.gsma.com/technicalprojects/fraud-security/stolen-phone-checking

I think only a member can actually check and they would probably be the mobile phone services providers like Dialog

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Guys, I am using a phone, a UK friend bought from one middleast duty fee shops on his way to here. AFAIK it is not regisrered in TRCSL. How can I get it done?

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I'm glad it was resolved. Must've been nervous moments.

I once tuned down an iPhone which didn't have matching IMEI on phone memory and outer case

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Guys, I am using a phone, a UK friend bought from one middleast duty fee shops on his way to here. AFAIK it is not regisrered in TRCSL. How can I get it done?
It is not all that bad to live in a messed up country. You must be thankful to messed up TRCSL for u r still able to use your phone which is not registered with them (Don't worry over 40% IMEIs are still not registered). TRCSL made it mandatory to register with them all mobile phones before they are activated but they have not been able to impose the rule to the letter so far. Please read http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2012/05/13/fea12.asp and http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2011/02/06/new22.asp for comments by the DGT himself. You can SMS your IMEI to 1909 to verify if it is registered with TRCSL. They had an arrangement to register IMEI with them and AFAIK you can still do so.

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I'm glad it was resolved. Must've been nervous moments.

I once tuned down an iPhone which didn't have matching IMEI on phone memory and outer case

Thanks machan... Yes nervous moments they are...

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+1 to this if you use your sim card to a 3rd partys 4ne & if its a stolen one , once the IMEI details are running by the service providers that sim owner too get caught for this.

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http://www.gsma.com/technicalprojects/fraud-security/stolen-phone-checking

I think only a member can actually check and they would probably be the mobile phone services providers like Dialog

All mobile operators have a system called Equipment Identity Register (EIR) in their network which stores (and updates) the IMEI number of all IMEIs connected to SIM cards. In addition, there are 5 nominated senior members of the police department who have the authority to find out from operators, any information regarding any phone connection (in the past, it was allowed only through a court order).

Interestingly, changing IMEI is not very difficult for most of the phones. So, suppose if you are using a genuine, registered phone, there are still chances that somebody out there having a stolen phone with your IMEI number. This system is not foolproof.

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It is not all that bad to live in a messed up country. You must be thankful to messed up TRCSL for u r still able to use your phone which is not registered with them (Don't worry over 40% IMEIs are still not registered). TRCSL made it mandatory to register with them all mobile phones before they are activated but they have not been able to impose the rule to the letter so far. Please read http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2012/05/13/fea12.asp and http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2011/02/06/new22.asp for comments by the DGT himself. You can SMS your IMEI to 1909 to verify if it is registered with TRCSL. They had an arrangement to register IMEI with them and AFAIK you can still do so.
Blocking mobile phones with unregistered IMEI is too much control in today's context IMO. Visitors should be able to bring in their mobile phones and use them here during their stay in the country.

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