Buying a used phone? This is how you check if it is stolen

If you're buying a used phone, you probably want to make sure it's not stolen or lost. Here we explain how to find out.

If a phone is stolen or lost, the owner can report this to his or her mobile operator or on a site like The unique IMEI number of the phone is then added to a blacklist, so that the device can no longer be registered on the mobile network. Also read: How to track down your missing tablet or smartphone.

On the website you can check whether the IMEI number of the phone you intend to buy is registered as stolen. Apple itself has its own tool with which you can check whether you are dealing with a stolen device.

Retrieving the IMEI number of your phone does not work the same on all devices. In many cases you can see the number by *#06# without pressing the call button.

On an iPhone you can usually find the IMEI number in Institutions >General >Info. The iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4s, 6s and 6s Plus also have the IMEI number on the SIM card tray, while the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 and 6 Plus have it on the back of the device. This is useful when you cannot easily access the settings on the device, such as when viewing a second-hand device.

On an Android device you can find the IMEI number in Institutions >About phone >Status.

With phones that have a removable battery, you can often find the IMEI number on a sticker under the battery.

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