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Phone Theft

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by WiskyT, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Why is it that stolen phones are of any value? Why can't the service providers just be given a list of phones that are stolen and then not allow them to talk to their systems?

    There must be some way for the networks to know which phones are connecting to them regardless of the number or account assigned to the specific phone. Every specific device surely has some type of ID that is permanently assigned to it that the network can ID and then simply ignore if it is listed as stolen.

    Someone steals phone ID 123456 from a store, locker room, etc. The phone is reported stolen. How hard could it be for the service providers to simply tell their equipment not to allow phone ID 123456 to connect to the system?
     
  2. ashecht

    ashecht

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Charlotte NC
    All cell phone have a unique EID. My kids have lost several cell phones. Once reported as lost the phones cannot be used to my knowledge.....at least on Verizon.
     


  3. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    That's what I would think. Yet, they steal them like crazy. I know robberies are often done just for the power aspect of it, but they sneak them out of the stores, employee theft/shoplifting like crazy. My wife works for a major big box store and they fired the stores GM once they finally figured out he was the one who had stolen over 20 phones during an 18 month period. The phones should be worthless, but they must be worth something. These were high-end smartphones too which should have the latest and greatest security features.
     
  4. Noles26

    Noles26 Made in Texas

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    Jul 21, 2010
    Central Texas
    What happens is the phones are reported stolen to their specific carrier.

    The thief then "unlocks" them so that they can be used on other carriers. For some reason, the carriers do not communicate this to one another.
     
  5. That and if it's a phone someone is actually using it often has a lot of valuable data on it. If nothing else they will often have a smart phone app from some big box retailer set up for one click shopping. Most people don't seem to put any sort of password or PIN on their lock screen either.
     
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    It reminds me of the way cars used to be. Ford had secure keys back in the 80's. The car couldn't be started without the password that was on a chip in the key, period. Yet, in the late 90's I was chasing stolen, brand new, BMW's, Audis, Hondas, Toyotas etc. Even the Intrepid I got didn't have the password key when higher end models of the same car had it. $10.00 worth of technology omitted form a $50,000.00 car just so thieves could steal them and keep the car companies in business.
     
  7. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    Missouri
  8. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
  9. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    3,901
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    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    GM's VATS used 1 of 15 resistor values built into the ignition key. If the key fit and turned the ignition switch, but didn't return the correct voltage on the VATS signal wire, the car wouldn't start. I imagine Ford used a similar system.
     
  10. Never Nervous

    Never Nervous

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    Aug 18, 2009
    Metro ATL
    In the last month or so, local police have captured several thieves by locating the phones with a tracking device. One thief even answered the phone when the cops called the number.

    NN
     
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Yeah, Apple has some type of device/software in some of their stuff that allows them to be recovered. The phones wouldn't be stolen in the first place if they couldn't be used. I guess some would be stolen from users for the data stored on them, but they walk off loading docks at big box stores all the time with no data in them.
     
  12. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

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    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    "Find iPhone" app
     
  13. dac1204

    dac1204

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    Aug 10, 2006
    a lot of phones are stolen for their content and data but most of the new phones are stolen because they are parted out Screens, number pads, cases, etc are big money items to replace. They can be sold for a lot less then items bought from an actual store.
     
  14. GlockFanWA

    GlockFanWA

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    Sep 9, 2012
    Washington
    As an FYI the Windows phone (7.X or higher) have a "Where's My Phone" webpage as well as a way to remotely lock the phone and have it display a custom message on the screen.
     
  15. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    That makes sense. They strip them like cars.
     
  16. njl

    njl

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    Sep 28, 2000
    :noitacoL
    Even if you can't use it as a cell phone, smart phones can be used for many things now other than phone calls. MP3 player, game system, portable/wireless internet terminal, etc. None of those require cooperation or service from a cellular provider.

    What does the latest iPod Touch go for?