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The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is on all GSM and UMTS mobile phones, commonly found in Europe, Asia, Africa and increasingly in America. Cingular & T-Mobile are the major US carriers but there are growing numbers of regional carriers who are switching to GSM like Centennial Wireless, Highland Cellular, Dobson Cellular to name a few. Mobile phone companies can use the number to identify valid subscribers and the type of equipment used. The carrier could thus use the number to remotely disable the phone in the event it is stolen or reported lost and customize data content to be compatible with the type of equipment used, among other things.
- Ensure your phone is powered on.
- Return to the "idle" screen, or your "desktop". If you were in the middle of a call, end it, and clear any numbers you pressed while making that call.
- Press the following keys one by one: * # 0 6 #
- As you press on the last #, a number will appear with the title, IMEI number, or similar.
Motorola iDen Units
- With the handset on, press the following key sequence in rapid succession (without pause): # * [menu] [right arrow].
- On units with SIM cards, scroll down until you see IMEI/SIM ID. Select Enter, and view your IMEI, SIM, and on some units, your MSN. The first fourteen digits are displayed; the fifteenth is always a 0.
- On older units without SIM cards, continue to hit the [right arrow] key until you see IMEI  on the display. The first seven digits are displayed. Hit the menu key, then the "soft key" under next, and the next seven digits are displayed. The final, fifteenth, digit is most often a 0, however, this can be changed by altering the NAM.
- Ensure the phone is powered off.
- Remove the battery.
- Look on the phone for a white sticker/label, which would be now exposed after removing the battery, for the IMEI. It would be 15 or 17 digits not including a few forward slashes included and without any letters. Only the first 15-digits are needed.
- If the phone is not available or if the label is unreadable then have a look at the phone manufacturer's packaging for a white sticker/label. Near one bar code or another the IMEI would also be printed.
- If your mobile phone is stolen, call or go to the nearest service center of your mobile network, and give that IMEI number to staff and ask them to block that number for a period of time, so no one can use your mobile phone for any illegal purpose.
- Store your 15-Digit IMEI Number in a safe place, so you could find it if your phone is stolen.
- If you are South African, you are required by law to report the theft to your Service Provider (Mobile Network) and to the Police (either SAPS or your local Metro Police). It will be blacklisted across ALL networks so that it can't be used for criminal activities. If it is recovered, it is possible to de-blacklist it providing you have proof of ownership.
- Do not ask the Service Center Staff to block your IMEI number permanently.
- The * # 0 6 # process does not work with the original iPhone, LG-WX3200 and LG-LX160 phones, or all Nextel (iDEN) handsets, or a RAZR V3m.
- Sometimes, fraudulent people change the IMEI Number of a handset, soon after the theft, and according to a recent report, most of the new numbers used by them are of already existing Cell Phones, so it is better to check whether your handset's number is not used somewhere else by visiting IMEI Number Analyzer. If it shows the Model of mobile, which you have, then it means that it is not used by someone else, but if it does not, then you should immediately contact Central Equipment Identity Register, and consult them regarding this problem.
- A mobile phone
- A service center of any mobile network, even if you don't belong to their service.
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