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Police Reminding Public About Cell Phone Blacklist

The Vancouver Police are reminding the public about the “blacklist” for cell phones reported lost or stolen.

On September 30th, 2013, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) launched a national blacklist of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers for wireless devices that have been reported lost or stolen.

While the number of cell phones taken in thefts and robberies has reduced significantly in Vancouver since the implementation of the IMEI blacklist, they are still occurring. The blacklist makes the market for a stolen phone much smaller, but only if the public is aware of it.

Police want to encourage the public to check the blacklist before purchasing a phone from someone through an online resale site. People should record their IMEI number, continue to be vigilant and treat their phone like they do their wallets.

Victims of cell phone theft are required to contact their service provider to report a lost or stolen phone and have their device deactivated. Once the device has been reported lost or stolen, the service provider can then add the device’s IMEI number to the blacklist. A verification process, which denies service to any device that is on the blacklist, is designed to help reduce the black market for stolen devices.

All instances of theft should be reported to local law enforcement as well.

The IMEI number can be found on a white label underneath the battery of your device. Alternatively, you can obtain the IMEI number by entering *#06# on most devices.

To check if a mobile device has been placed on the blacklist or for information on protecting your device and your data, please visit www.protectyourdata.ca.