IMEI Number & Device Don’t Match | Causes and What To Do?




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IMEI Number is a unique combination of numbers that are assigned to every device by the device manufacturer, which allows the GSM Networks to verify the device.

Now, if you have bought a device and the IMEI number doesn’t match the device, it could be due to various reasons, and I will tell you about them. Let’s dive right into the cause of an IMEI mismatch.

Why Does My IMEI Number Not Match? | What’s the Cause?

Normally, if you buy a smartphone or any device from a trusted source and you look up the IMEI Number, the IMEI number will match the device. However, if the IMEI number doesn’t match the device, it could be due to the following reasons.

1. Refurbished Smartphone

One of the main reasons why the IMEI Number and device don’t match is due to the Refurbished Smartphone.

Many small companies often tear up broken smartphones and use the working parts to assemble smartphones, and they sell them in the market as Refurbished devices.

The problem with Refurbished smartphones is that as they are using different parts, there are high chances of defects.

On top of that, as they are using different parts, there are great chances that IMEI details won’t match with the device you have.

2. Fake Device

Another possible reason why your IMEI number doesn’t match the device is that you possibly have a fake device.

Many small companies usually make fake devices with Fake IMEI numbers to make profits, and if you get a fake device, there are high chance that the IMEI number won’t match because it’s fake.

3. Box Mix-up

If you have bought a second-hand device from a shop and the IMEI number on the box doesn’t match the device, then it could be due to a mix-up.

As these shops usually have many smartphones of similar models, sometimes the boxes get mixed up, and it can cause an issue.

4. Company’s Negligence

If you are completely sure that you have bought a smartphone from a trusted source and there are no chances that your device is refurbished or fake, then there are chances that the IMEI number is not matching due to very rare negligence.

This is because most companies have very strict quality control where they make sure that errors like these don’t happen but still can happen.

Your IMEI Number & Device Don’t Match: Understanding the Causes and Solutions

Count for Provided IMEIs and Mobile Number Mismatched

When you encounter a situation where the count for provided IMEIs (International Mobile Equipment Identity) and your mobile number mismatch, it can be quite perplexing. IMEI is a unique identifier for every mobile device and is used by network providers to identify valid devices on their network. A mismatch could occur for several reasons:

  1. Incorrect Registration: At times, the network provider or the retailer may have incorrectly registered the IMEI number associated with your mobile number. This is often a clerical error but can cause significant issues.
  2. Software Glitch: Software updates or glitches in the device’s operating system might lead to misreporting of the IMEI number to the network.
  3. Device Tampering: If a device has been tampered with, for instance, if it has been jailbroken or rooted, the software that reports the IMEI to the network could malfunction or be altered, leading to discrepancies.
  4. Fraudulent IMEI: Unfortunately, there are cases where devices have cloned or altered IMEIs. If you’ve purchased a second-hand device, this could be a possible cause.

My IMEI Number Shows a Different Phone

Discovering that your IMEI number is associated with a different phone model than the one you are using is alarming and indicates a problem that needs immediate attention. Here’s why this might happen:

  1. Incorrectly Flashed Devices: If a device has been flashed with the firmware of a different model, it might report the IMEI of that model to the network. This is common in counterfeit devices or in devices that have undergone unauthorized repairs.
  2. IMEI Cloning: A more nefarious reason could be IMEI cloning. Criminals clone the IMEI of legitimate devices onto other devices, often stolen ones, to mask their origins. If your IMEI has been cloned to another device, it could show up as a different phone.
  3. Database Errors: Sometimes, the issue lies not with your device but with the network provider or manufacturer’s database, where your IMEI is incorrectly recorded or associated with a different model.

IMEI Number Not Matching Amazon: Why Is It And What You Need to Know

When purchasing electronic devices, such as smartphones, from online retailers like Amazon, it’s crucial to verify that the product you receive matches the description provided. One essential detail to check is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. The IMEI number is a unique identifier assigned to each mobile device, which can be used to track and verify its authenticity. If you find that the IMEI number does not match what was promised or listed on Amazon, several issues may arise.

Why Matching IMEI Numbers Matter

  1. Device Authenticity
  • The IMEI number helps confirm that the device you have received is genuine and not a counterfeit. A mismatched IMEI number could indicate that the device is a fake or has been tampered with.
  1. Warranty and Support
  • Manufacturers and service providers often use the IMEI number to validate warranty claims and provide customer support. A mismatched IMEI could render your warranty void, making it difficult to get repairs or replacements.
  1. Network Compatibility
  • Some mobile networks use the IMEI number to activate services. If the IMEI does not match, you may encounter problems when trying to use your device on your chosen network.
  1. Stolen or Blacklisted Devices
  • An IMEI number that doesn’t match could indicate that the device is stolen or blacklisted. Using such a device could lead to legal issues and network restrictions.

Steps to Take if IMEI Numbers Don’t Match

  1. Immediate Verification
  • Upon receiving your device, verify the IMEI number by dialing *#06# on your phone. Compare this number with the one listed on the box and in your Amazon order details.
  1. Contact Amazon Support
  • If there is a discrepancy, contact Amazon customer support immediately. Explain the issue and provide them with all necessary details, including order number, seller information, and the mismatched IMEI numbers.
  1. Request a Replacement or Refund
  • Amazon has a robust return and refund policy. If the product does not meet the described specifications, you are entitled to request a replacement or a refund.
  1. Leave a Review and Report the Seller
  • To help other buyers, leave a detailed review of your experience and report the seller if you suspect fraudulent activity. This can assist Amazon in taking action against unreliable sellers.
  1. Contact the Manufacturer
  • If you’re unable to resolve the issue with Amazon, contact the device manufacturer. They can often provide additional verification and support.

Preventive Measures

  1. Buy from Reputable Sellers
  • Always purchase from reputable sellers with good reviews and ratings. Amazon’s “Fulfilled by Amazon” options are generally safer, as Amazon handles the fulfillment process.
  1. Check Seller Policies
  • Review the seller’s return and warranty policies before making a purchase. This will prepare you for any potential issues and ensure you know your rights.
  1. Use Secure Payment Methods
  • Using secure payment options like credit cards or Amazon Pay can provide additional layers of protection and recourse in case of fraudulent transactions.

A mismatched IMEI number can be a significant red flag when purchasing devices from Amazon. By taking immediate action, contacting the appropriate parties, and following preventive measures, you can protect yourself from potential fraud and ensure you receive the product you were promised. Always prioritize purchasing from reputable sellers and verify all critical details upon receiving your device.

What To Do When My IMEI Number Don’t Match My Device?

Here are steps you can take to resolve these issues:

  1. Contact Your Network Provider: The first step is to alert your network provider about the discrepancy. They can verify the IMEI and mobile number match in their records and rectify any errors.
  2. Check With the Retailer: If you purchased the device recently, the retailer might have made a mistake in registering your device. They can correct this issue.
  3. Official Service Center: For potential software glitches or tampering, visiting an official service center is recommended. They can restore the device to its original settings or identify if it has been tampered with.
  4. Report Cloning: If you suspect IMEI cloning, report it to the authorities and your network provider immediately. They can take steps to blacklist the cloned IMEI, preventing its misuse.
  5. Verify Purchase: Always ensure you purchase devices from reputable sources to avoid issues related to cloned or tampered IMEIs.

Once it’s established that the IMEI number details don’t match with the device you have, then you should do the following things depending on your situation.

If you think that you have a refurbished device and the IMEI number doesn’t match, then the first thing you should do is contact the seller and claim your refund. You must have a receipt of the transaction, as they often use it as an excuse to refuse the claim. So, make sure that you have the receipt so that you are rock solid on your claim. Once you have your money back, get your phone from a trusted retailer or distributor.

Similarly, if you think that you have got a fake device, you should contact the seller and claim your refund. If you have bought it from a street vendor, there are great chances that you won’t be able to find that person, and the only thing you can do is launch a police complaint as selling fake smartphones is fraud which is a punishable offense in many countries including the USA.

If you bought a second-hand device and you think that it’s a box mix-up, you can contact the shop and change your box. If they don’t have the box and give you a lame excuse, you should claim the refund as there are chances that you have got the stolen smartphone.

Remember that, whenever you buy a second smartphone, always have the permanent address of the seller along with contact details so that if anything goes south, you should have proof of your innocence and the contact of the person who sold you the device.

Last but not least, if you think that you have bought the device from a legitimate source and the IMEI is not matching due to an issue on the company’s end, you should contact the company and explain your case. Once you file the complaint, they will launch the investigation and will probably replace the device for you if you have the receipt.

If they fail to do that and you still think that they are at fault, you can contact the consumer court and get your money back. On top of that, you can also sue them for causing duress but make sure that you have proof to back your claim. For example, make sure that you have bought the device from a legitimate source and have proof of ownership.

Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]

Why Does My IMEI Number Not Match?

It could be due to many reasons, such as fake devices, refurbished devices, fake IMEI, and more. Whatever the reason, if the IMEI doesn’t match, contact the seller and claim a refund.

Why Does My IMEI Number Keep Changing?

IMEI Number is a unique number that is encoded deep into software, and it doesn’t change by itself. So, if it keeps changing itself, it means that someone is tampering with your device. So, make sure that you don’t leave your device unattended and delete any suspicious apps from your smartphone.

Can IMEI Be Changed?

Yes, IMEI numbers can be changed, and it’s not illegal to do it in many countries. However, it’s a long process and if you want to do it, follow the guide where I have explained the complete process of changing the IMEI Number.


In conclusion, an IMEI and device mismatch can stem from various causes, from simple clerical errors to more serious tampering or cloning issues. By understanding these causes and knowing the right steps to take, you can protect your device and your personal information from potential misuse.

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Also, did you know that the IMEI number can provide details about the quality of your device? It does, and if you want to check the quality of your device, check this guide.

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