What is a blacklisted phone?

If you’re one of those folks who finds themselves with a blacklisted phone, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people buy used phones to save money, but after purchasing them, they don’t know what to do next. To solve this confusion, it’s better to understand blacklisted phones so you don’t spend your hard-earned money on a useless device.

Basically, a blacklisted phone is a device that is reported as stolen, lost, or having unpaid bills. Once the phone is blacklisted, it is blocked from accessing cellular networks, which makes it unusable for calls, texts, or other data. Database phones contain IMEI numbers that the owner bought in a contract. Once the phone is lost, the owner stops paying the providers of the number. When you purchase a blacklisted phone, you will not be able to use any operator. However, you can still use these phones with Wi-Fi and enjoy other apps like music, games, YouTube, or movies. To check whether your phone is blacklisted or not, you can find it through various apps, available totally free online.

So, if you end up with a blacklisted phone and it won’t work for cellular service, read this article to get full information.

Different Categories of Phone Blacklists

You’re holding a blacklisted phone but don’t know what to do. It is recommended to understand a few things before going deep into the criteria. When you power on the phone and connect it to the network, the IMEI will be transmitted to the carrier. From here, you can confirm whether your phone is blacklisted or not. If your phone is blacklisted, you won’t get any signal from the service. When it comes to blacklisted phones, there are several types of blacklists that you should be aware of. Each type can affect the usability of the phone in different ways. Understanding the various types of blacklists can help you avoid buying a blacklisted phone and know what to do if you end up with one.

Carrier Blacklist: it is usually maintained by the individual who carries mobile. When a phone is reported lost, stolen, or has unpaid bills, the carrier blocks the phone’s IMEI number. It is generally considered the main reason behind the blacklisted phone. If you’re holding such a device, you can expect that your phone cannot access the carrier’s network, or the phone may still work on other carriers’ networks unless the IMEI is also listed on a global blacklist.

National Blacklist: A national blacklist is managed at the country level. Multiple carriers in a country share a database of blacklisted IMEI numbers. These types of phones cannot be used on any carrier within the country.

Global Blacklist: A global blacklist is maintained by international organizations like the GSMA (GSM Association). This list includes IMEI numbers from multiple countries and carriers. These phones are usually blocked from accessing networks worldwide.

Manufacturer Blacklist: Some phone manufacturers, like Apple, maintain their own blacklists. These lists may include devices reported stolen during shipping or distribution. The phone can be disabled remotely by the manufacturer.

Insurance Blacklist: Insurance companies may maintain their own blacklists. Which means if a phone is reported as lost or stolen and a claim is made, the phone’s IMEI may be added to an insurance blacklist.

How to Check If a Phone Is Blacklisted

Purchasing a used phone in good condition can be your luck; however, if you’re concerned that your phone is blacklisted, you can follow a few steps to clear up all your concerns. Knowing your phone’s blacklist status can save you from potential issues and make you feel satisfied that your device is functional.

IMEI Number: The most common method to check your blacklisted status is your phone’s IMEI number. To find the IMEI number of your phone,

  • You can dial *#06# on the dial pad. An IMEI report will pop up on the screen; however, it is possible you may receive more than one IMEI. Check all of them immediately.
  • Check the phone’s settings: go to “Settings,” then “About Phone” or “About Device.
  • Look at the back of the phone or its original packaging. The IMEI number is often printed there.

If the owner is not providing you with the IMEI number, don’t buy the phone.

Use Online IMEI Check Tools: Once you have your IMEI number, you can use online tools to check its status. Here are some reliable websites. You can find many options available online to check your IMEI. Select  reliable site by checking their reviews. Enter your IMEI number on these sites to check if your phone is blacklisted. These services are usually free and provide instant results.

Contact Your Carrier: The most easy and reliable method is to contact your carrier. You can call customer service, provide them with your IMEI number, and ask them to check the blacklist status. Moreover, you can also visit the carrier store and request an IMEI check.

If he is unable to provide you with information, ask him to return the phone and refund your money. Or you can also use your phone for many other reasons. You can connect your phone to WiFi and enjoy its other features.

Test the phone with a SIM card: If you don’t have immediate access to online tools or carrier services, you can do a quick check by inserting a known working SIM card into the phone:

  • You can Insert the SIM card in the SIM tray of your phone. If the phone fails to connect to the network, it might be blacklisted.
  • If you’ve still got some doubts, try to make a call. If it doesn’t go through, the phone could be blacklisted.

What to Do If Your Phone Is IMEI Blacklisted?

Finding out that you’re holding an IMEI-blacklisted phone can be frustrating; however, there is still some hopethat may lessen your burden of loss.

Understanding why your phone was blacklisted is crucial. The most common reasons include reported stolen or unpaid bills. If you’re facing one of these issues, it is recommended not to use such a phone. Because it is illegal, you can face serious consequences.

  • Several third-party services can help remove your phone from the blacklist; some of the most reliable are IMEI Authority, Direct Unlocks, and Express Unlock. These services usually charge a fee but can assist in unblocking your phone.
  • Don’t ever try to change the IMEI, because in many countries, changing the IMEI is illegal and may have severe consequences. Moreover, changing the IMEI can make your phone non-functional.
  • Jailbreaking or rooting is another option to temporarily remove the restrictions on the phone. However, this method can also open your device to security vulnerabilities or cause serious damage to its functionality.

It Is always recommended to double-check the phone before purchasing. Avoid buying a phone without a certified history report. Even if a phone is blacklisted, it can still have value. Some companies buy blacklisted phones for parts or refurbishment. This may be a good chance for you to recover some of your investment. Always stay vigilant and informed to protect yourself from purchasing a device that cannot be used as intended.