After being subject to this myself recently, the Home Office (UK) has decided to ask manufacturers to do more to stop mobile-theft.
Almost a QUARTER of ALL street crime is now mobile-phone related in the UK and it shows no sign of stopping. Even after all UK networks agreed to a “shared IMEI database” which allows the locking of a handset on ALL UK networks at once, theft is still a huge problem. Websites like Immobilise.com have already helped in the fight against mobile-crime, offering an easy-to-remember number to get your phone blocked across every network.
However, the major problem now is the amount of “utils” doing the rounds which allow IMEI numbers to be changed – especially Nokia handsets. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible for networks to only accept IMEI numbers it approves, so they instead allow ALL IMEI numbers in EXCEPT those which are blacklisted on the shared database – this allows “hackers” to tweak the IMEI number and then use the handset on that network.
Although some stolen handsets now get shipped abroad for use on networks without this shared IMEI database, there is still a huge problem with mobile-unlockers, who operate from shops, computer markets and jumble sales everywhere.