CTIA has launched a tool that lets consumers determine if a used or refurbished smartphone has been reported as stolen or lost.
The free Stolen Phone Checker website is intended as an aid to both consumers and law enforcement, the wireless communications industry group said. CTIA president and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker likened the service to the auto industry’s Carfax.
Consumers and resellers will be able to verify if a device has been reported stolen or lost before making a purchase by entering a device's an IMEI, MEID or ESN code at the GSMA Device Check-powered website. Insurers will also be given better information on loss and theft claims, said CTIA.
"Empowering consumers to ensure their refurbished cellphones aren't stolen is a win-win,” said newly appointed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. “I applaud CTIA for its work on this issue and hope to do what we can at the FCC to raise awareness of this tool, which can provide peace of mind to consumers and decrease the incentive to steal mobile phones. This is another area where consumers, industry, and the FCC are all pulling in the same direction and getting results."