A stolen iPhone or phone that has been reported as lost may not work at all if the cellular carrier has blocked the device from accessing a wireless network, this essentially means that buying a stolen iPhone or phone could be a waste of the money
The good news is the CTIA, which represents the US wireless communications industry, has setup a super easy to use website that allows you to easily check to find out if any iPhone or any smart phone has been stolen or reported as lost. The website is aptly named StolenPhoneChecker.org and it works by running an IMEI, MEID, or ESN number through the database and it will report back if a device has been reported as lost or stolen.
How to check if the phone you’re buying was stolen
Step 1: Visit stolenphonechecker.org/spc/consumer on your device.
Step 2: Enter the IMEI, MEID or ESN of the phone you’re about to purchase. If you’re buying an iPhone, you can find this information in Settings → General → About. If you’re buying a non-Apple smartphone, ask the owner to provide the IMEI number.
Step 3: Solve the captcha and click the Submit button.
If the phone isn’t stolen,“Not reported lost or stolen” should appear next to Device Status along with some useful information, including the device model, manufacturer and more.
Regular consumers are allowed to check up to find phones per day. Again, this service is limited solely to consumers in the United States.
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