International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique number that is assigned to every smartphone, and like other smartphones, your smartphone also comes with its own unique IMEI Number. Now, if you have found that someone else has your IMEI Number, then there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and I’ll tell you about them! Let’s get started.
Can someone else have my IMEI Number?
IMEI Number is a unique number that is assigned to every device, and only a handful of people such as you, the retailer, and the smartphone manufacturer knows about it. In normal circumstances, it’s almost impossible for someone else to know your IMEI Number, but if they have access to the smartphone’s box or the smartphone itself, they can find your IMEI Number and use it for a lot of things which I will explain in the next sections.
What if someone has my IMEI Number? Is it Dangerous?
IMEI Number is basically your gateway to the Network, and if someone has your IMEI Number, there are a lot of things that can happen, and it’s certainly dangerous.
If someone has your IMEI Number, they can use it to clone your smartphone and frame you for something which you haven’t done. On top of that, if they manage to successfully clone your smartphone, they can also use it for unlawful purposes such as terrorism, and you can get into serious trouble for something which you haven’t done. Also, as it’s very difficult to know someone’s IMEI Number, it will surely be challenging for you to prove that you are innocent.
Similarly, if someone has your IMEI Number, they can use it to contact the local law enforcement agency and report it as stolen. Normally, they would require to present the proof of ownership, but they can surely create the fake one and cause you trouble. It’s surely not as dangerous as the first scenario, but still, they can use your IMEI number to give you trouble for few days.
What to do if someone has your IMEI Number?
If someone has your IMEI Number and they haven’t used it for any unlawful purpose, then you can’t do anything about it. However, make sure that you keep track of people who have access to your IMEI Number so that if anything goes wrong in the future, you should have the list of suspects.
Similarly, if someone has your IMEI Number and you are feared that they can use it for any unlawful purpose, you can contact a lawyer or directly contact the law enforcement agency to put it on the record. So, that if they use your IMEI number for unlawful activity or frame you, you will have the protection of the law, and it can save you from a lot of trouble.
Should I share my IMEI Number?
In normal circumstances, you should never share your IMEI number with anyone as it can get you into trouble. However, some sellers and retailers require to note down the IMEI Number of the device for registration purposes.
Is Changing the IMEI number Illegal?
There are hundreds of countries in this world, and each country has its own laws and regulations about Changing IMEI numbers. It’s illegal in many countries, and they have laws that are there to punish anyone who changes the IMEI of the device. For example, UK has the Telephones (Re-Programming) Act which charges the people who change IMEI of devices or have the equipment to change IMEI.
It’s also important to note here that it’s not illegal to change IMEI Numbers in many countries, but still, there are laws that protect digital property, and those laws can be used to charge you. So, unless it’s important or necessary, I would recommend you not changing the IMEI number of your device.
Is Changing IMEI Number illegal in the US?
US doesn’t have any specific law which bars people from changing IMEI Numbers, but as I previously said, there are other laws that can be used to charge people. For example, if you use IMEI of another device on your smartphone and use it to access the Network, it can be considered fraud. In the US, Fraud is a punishable offense under 18 USC 1001, and you can be prisoned for up to 10 years. Similarly, there are other laws that can be used to charge you, especially if you do something illegal after changing IMEI.
Can someone use the IMEI number to tap my calls?
IMEI is surely important, but it can’t be used to access your Network. If someone wants to tap your calls, they will need to access your Phone Number, and it’s almost impossible. However, if they do so, it’s a punishable offense, and they can be prisoned for years.
Can you spy on a phone with the IMEI Number?
When you access your Network, it also notes down the IMEI number of your device to validate your device and give access. Now, if someone has your IMEI number, they can use it to track you and then use your Phone number to track your calls and messages. However, not everyone can do it, and only the law enforcement agencies such as NSA have such level of access to Networks.
What can a Scammer do with an IMEI Number?
If a scammer has your IMEI Number, the only thing they can do is to frame you or clone your device and do something unlawful. Other than that, they can’t access your smartphone’s data or track your calls.
Why would you need an IMEI Number?
IMEI number is a unique number, and you would need it for a lot of things, such as smartphone registration. Also, if your device gets stolen, you can use it to add your device to the blacklist, which will make it impossible for the thief to use your device on the Network.
That’s all, folks. In this guide, you learned what happens if someone has your IMEI Number and what can go wrong. I also explained what you should do if someone has your IMEI number. Also, check this guide to learn how to know if IMEI is Blacklisted, Unlocked, or Fake.