Buying a smartphone? Here’s how you can check its original and not stolen


If you are planning to buy a used or refurbished or even a new smartphone, it is highly advisable that you check its authenticity. The government has made it easier for citizens to find out if a phone is stolen, also, if the device you are planning to buy is a genuine device or not. There’s a newly launched platform called Central Equipment Identity Register which checks the IMEI number of a phone to advise buyers whether they should buy a particular phone or not. Here’s how to use the tool.

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​To use the Central Equipment Identity Register, you need to have the IMEI number of the smartphone

All mobile phones are mandated to come with a 15-digit IMEI number. It is illegal to sell a mobile phone in India without a valid IMEI number. To find the IMEI number of the mobile phone, just dial *#06# from the same mobile. All legit phones must respond to the *#06# code. If there’s no response, then be warned that the device is being illegally sold in India.

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​You are not required to buy a phone first to get its IMEI number

You can easily find the IMEI number on the bill or purchase invoice, packing box and sometimes there’s a sticker on the back of new phones too. You are not required to buy a phone first to see the IMEI number. If someone is hesitant to provide the IMEI number then it’s better to avoid buying the device.

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​After you have the IMEI number, visit Central Equipment Identity Register

Go to Central Equipment Identity Register website–https://ceir.gov.in/Home/index.jsp. Over here, visit the Device Verification webpage— https://ceir.gov.in/Device/CeirIMEIVerification.jsp– to check whether the IMEI number is valid or not. Don’t buy any phone without a valid IMEI number or a blocked IMEI number. These phones are mostly stolen. You are required to provide your mobile number and verify the same via OTP to use the tool.

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​Don’t buy phones with these three types of IMEI status

If the status of the mobile is shown as Black-listed, duplicate or already in use, please avoid buying the mobile, as per the Central Equipment Identity Register website. If a phone is good to buy then the status should read: IMEI is valid.

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​You can also use SMS to verify the IMEI of a phone

After you have the IMEI number of a phone that you wish to buy, just type “KYM <15 digit IMEI number> from any mobile and send the SMS to 14422.

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​There’s an official Android app called “KYM – Know Your Mobile” for the same purpose

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) has launched an Android app called “KYM – Know Your Mobile” which can be used to verify any mobile by its IMEI number. The KYM app will provide status (Invalid/ Black Listed) or provide details like Manufacturer, Brand name and Model name of the given IMEI.

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​How does the Central Equipment Identity Register work

The Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)has been created to fight the counterfeit mobile phone market. This platform is made to connect to the IMEI database of all the mobile operators. “CEIR acts as a central system for all network Operators to share black listed mobile devices so that devices blacklisted in one network will not work on other networks even if the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card in the device is changed,” as per the official website.



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