How to Check to See if a Used iPhone Has Been Stolen

Posted in How To, iPhone on 12/05/2017 by Chris Hauk

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One of the worries about buying a used iPhone is that it might be stolen. A stolen iPhone is usually useless, due to Apple’s Activation Lock or blocks by wireless carriers.

Luckily, wireless device trade organization CTIA has created an online tool to allow anyone to quickly check and see if a smartphone has been registered as lost or stolen. Let’s take a look at how to check to see if a device has been stolen.

CTIA’s Stolen Phone Checker lets consumers and commercial users know if a mobile device is reported lost or stolen before they make a purchase. In addition, law enforcement can check – and hopefully return – found mobile devices to their rightful owner.

Working together, in partnership with the U.S. wireless industry, all of us – consumers, commercial users and law enforcement – can help stop the sale of stolen phones.

How to Check to See if a Used iPhone Has Been Stolen

1.) Find the device’s IMEI number. It is found by going to “Settings” -> “General” -> “About.” Scroll down a bit to find it. (You can also find it on the back of newer iPhones.)

How to Check to See if a Used iPhone Has Been Stolen

2.) Got to the Stolen Phone Checker website.

3.) Near the top of the screen, you’ll see a section marked “Check a Device Here.”

How to Check to See if a Used iPhone Has Been Stolen

4.) Enter the iPhone’s IMEI number in the provided field, click the “I am not a Robot” checkbox, and click the “Submit” button.

5.) A page will load, telling you if the device has been reported as lost or stolen.

How to Check to See if a Used iPhone Has Been Stolen

Consumers can check up to five smartphones per day, law enforcement personnel get unlimited access. The website also works with smartphones besides iPhones, but we’re an Apple news site, so…

For more tips and tricks that can help you make better use of your Mac, iOS device, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, be sure to visit the “How To” section of our website.


Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.