If your phone gets lost or stolen, there is still something you can do to recover it. As long as you have the IMEI number of your device, you can still track it or at the very least render it unusable for anyone else. In this article, we explain what an IMEI number is and how you can find your lost mobile using the IMEI number.
What is an IMEI number?
An IMEI number is a 15-digit that is unique to your mobile device. You can find this code in the box that your phone came in, or you can simply look for it in the ‘Phone Details’ section of your phone settings. If your phone comes with a detachable battery, it may have the IMEI number printed on the panel below the battery pack.
If your phone ever gets lost or stolen, you can use the IMEI code to block all functionality of the device. You can even use the IMEI code to track your lost device.
How to block a mobile phone using an IMEI number
If your phone gets stolen, and you’re worried it may be used for any malicious activities, you can get it blocked using the IMEI number. The Govt. of India has launched a CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register) Portal, using which you can block your lost or stolen device. Just follow these simple steps:
Step 1: File a report of the missing device with the police and keep a copy of the report.
Step 2: Get a duplicate SIM card for the lost number from your telecom service provider. A duplicate SIM card is necessary since CEIR requires it to send an OTP while accepting the IMEI blocking request.
Step 3: Keep the police report ready, along with proof of identity. The mobile purchase invoice is also a valid document.
Step 4: Go to the CEIR Portal and fill out the request form to block the IMEI number.
Step 5: After submission of the request form, you will be given a Request ID. This ID can be used to track the status of the request form and unblock the IMEI if your device gets recovered in future.
How to track your device using the IMEI number
After you’ve filed the police report for your missing phone, the police will use the IMEI number to track the location of your device. The police can track the mobile phone even when you’ve blocked the IMEI number on the CEIR Portal. Once someone changes the SIM card on your device or uses the existing SIM card to make a call, the location of the device is triangulated to the nearest cell tower. If your device is recovered, you can fill out a form on the CEIR portal to unblock the IMEI number.
This is how you can find your lost mobile using the IMEI number. It goes without saying that you should preserve your IMEI number as it is necessary to recover your device once it has been lost or stolen. At the very least you can block your mobile phone so it won’t be used for any inappropriate activities. You can also use the IMEI number to know more details about your phone by logging on to imei.info. If you’re buying a used mobile phone, you can use the IMEI number to check if the phone has a history of insurance claims, or if it has been stolen in the past.