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Is The Pre-Owned Phone You Are Buying Stolen? How To Verify The Authenticity

The rise in online classes and the work from home (WFH) situation, owing due to the Covid pandemic, have resulted in a massive increase in used phone sales. However, if you’re planning to acquire a secondhand phone, police officials advise that you double-check the phone’s IMEI number. Several people were detained last year on various occasions for selling stolen phones on a third-party online marketplace.

One of the snatchers caught in December informed police that they used many identities on the platform to sell the stolen phones, selling 12 to 15 smartphones. Most individuals don’t bother checking things like the IMEI number to make sure the phone isn’t stolen, according to police officers.

Most individuals don’t bother checking things like the IMEI number to make sure the phone isn’t stolen, according to police officers.

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Several complaints about IMEI number phones can be found on the website of the consumer complaint forum. After looking over these complaints, it appears that the majority of customers discover that their phone’s IMEI number is invalid after purchasing a used phone.

If you buy a used phone and it turns out to be stolen, you could face jail time. Those found in possession of a stolen phone are charged under Indian Penal Code Section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen goods), which is a non-bailable offense. A person can be imprisoned for up to three years, fined, or both.

The CRO (Crime Records Office) of the Delhi Police keeps track of the IMEI numbers of stolen and lost phones. According to police officials, it is critical to check the IMEI number on the website https://zipnet.delhipolice.gov.in before purchasing a used phone to ensure that it is not stolen or lost property.

Officials from the police department say that buying a used phone isn’t a good idea and that instead of an expensive used phone, people should go for a less expensive new phone.

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“When we receive a complaint of a stolen or lost phone, we forward it to DoT (Department of Telecom) which takes it up with the telecom operator, and the IMEI number is blocked to avoid misuse. If you buy a pre-owned smartphone from a repair shop or an unknown person, then there are high chances that the phone is either stolen or lost property. Hence, I’d suggest that if you are buying a second-hand phone, buy it from someone you know and always check the IMEI number,” said a senior Delhi police officer.

If you’re the one selling your phone, what should you do?

If you acquire your phone from a third party, the platform is not responsible for its trustworthiness, and it is the responsibility of the buyer to exercise caution before making any such purchases. Similarly, if you’re swapping phones and selling your old phone in exchange for a new phone discount, make sure you get a digital receipt for delivery to the e-commerce website. If you’re reselling your phone, make sure all personal information is removed.

“The best way to avoid getting your data in wrong hands is to erase all personal data, then override the junk data (like a big movie file), and then erase everything and reset it to factory settings,” says another senior police officer.

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