Cell Phone Stolen? Make it useless for the thief

Martin Brinkmann
May 29, 2006
Updated • May 5, 2013
Mobile Computing

This is a neat little trick that should work with most phones and phone service provider. You simply enter the code on the keypad of your mobile phone to reveal the unique serial number of it on the display. The serial number comes in handy in several situations. You can use it to prove that you are the rightful owner of the phone if it gets taken away from you or stolen, or contact your phone provider after it has been stolen to render it useless for the thief and prevent things like a high phone bill as the thief won't be able to use your SIM card anymore to use the phone's functionality.

The code is * # 0 6 #

The fifteen-digit code is the unique serial number of your mobile phone. Write it down, it's your IMEI Code. When someone steals your mobile you report the theft and your IMEI Code to your service provider. Most providers will ban that serial number making the phone useless.

If the code does not work on your phone, I suggest you search on the Internet to find out how to display your cell phone's IMEI code. If you can't find the information online, try calling your provider to find out how the phone's IMEI code can be displayed, or if the information can be handed over to you in another way.

Please note that this works only if the phone uses the Global System Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, which many but not all phones do. via: snopes.com

You sometimes find the IMEI code underneath the phones' battery. Just look for a sticker there and you should see the IMEI code listed there. You do need to turn off the phone for that for obvious reasons.

Your phone provider adds the IMEI to the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) and Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), to block it from being usable by the thief.


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  1. Rush said on August 28, 2023 at 9:50 pm

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    That Apple can finally stop hindering progress if spanked hard enough ?

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